Saturday Art: Nests by Phil Lichtenhan


Nests of found art

Recently I wandered into a local gallery in a nearby town, and was delighted by the work displayed there, nests made by Phil Lichtenhan out of found art.   He is an artist based in Tucson, AZ, and has created intriguing homesites in a method that we can see birds using, gathering together materials that lend themselves to a nest.

As birds will use a variety of materials to construct their nests, artist Phil Lichtenhan has collected man made discards of our world to weave his nests. The sculptures—a combination of wire, barbed wire, steel banding, and other found objects—have developed a beautiful patina from the natural forces of time.

“I find my nest materials everywhere. Along the roadside, railroads, and alleyways,” says Phil. “Some of the nests I create are like birds’ nests in look and scale, others are more improbable in size and material choice.”

Phil’s work brings together disparate objects in a weaving method, much as birds fly through the area searching out and gathering together the things they find into a place that becomes a home and protection to them.   The eggs he makes from hand fashioned high-fired clay to give both natural and sometimes contrasting substance to the nests.

The ones I enjoyed are located at the Mary Karam Gallery in Denison, TX, one of many places Phil’s work is displayed.   He also has works at the Ansel Adams Collection and Tucson Museum of Art, among others.

I particularly like his collections’  own site on the internet.   The nests appeal to that hunter/gatherer instinct in us, to create our home environment out of that stuff of life around us.

Whimsical Nests