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ARTIST PROFILE MICHAEL HORSWILL


Writing and Inventing His Art


by Jennifer LaRue


ARTIST MICHAEL HORSWILL IS A BIT of an inventor. “It’s fun to invent things and then give the inventions life,” he says. “I’m a bit of a conduit, bringing organic and non-organic elements together. It’s a visceral relationship.” At first he wanted to be a writer and he


was involved in theatre, bringing characters to life. Now, as he guides you through his Coeur d’Alene home, you at once recognize his ability to dramatically tell fantasy driven stories through a wide variety of mediums including mechanical and natural materials. His work is a meeting of natural landscapes and parts of manmade necessities turned into a social study perhaps regarding society’s invasion of mother earth or, if not invasion then love story first recognized by Horswill while growing up in Bozeman, Montana, and traveling to his grandparents’ farm in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, where he saw looming smokestacks, grey against


green. Or, while exploring,


happening upon a non-natural convenience left to be overrun by natural growth. Much of Horswill’s work is three-dimensional


Coeur d’Alene artist Michael


Horwsill


and reads like chapters in the form of layers. A recent series of what looks like masks began with a dream that Horswill had during an illness. “I got up and welded the first one in about an hour,” he says. Since then, they have become more elaborate, still maintaining a mask-like appearance but growing to appear almost like a vessel of some kind as a story emerges. Does the wearer suddenly become magical or all knowing, or does he/she become able to travel while wearing it? Even his drawings contain layers of scientific, mechanical and natural elements that work together to form something akin to Leonardo da Vinci’s sketchpads. Horswill also has notebooks filled with ideas and images of fantastic contraptions and notes in the margins that eventually come to fruition. A recent sculpture called Moon Song was first “mapped out” in Horswill’s book and is currently on display as part of the Art Currents sculpture exhibition in Coeur d’Alene. It’s located on 3rd and Lakeside and will be up for one year.


172 SPOKANE CDA • July - August • 2011


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