People who discover their artistic passion through unconventional means often approach a subject quite differently than someone who follows a more structured course of study. Deedee Morrison, an economist by training, became fascinated with the public art she encountered while living in London.
Morrison soon began taking art classes at night, where she worked with the highly malleable medium of clay. But the pieces of art that really captured her attention were large, looming sculptures that spoke to her artistic sense in a way that small clay pots rarely did.
The Alabama resident made a bold choice and decided to study welding. Morrison learned about the technology of fusing metal, welding as an industrial process and perhaps most importantly, the art of laser cutting metal.
“When I began incorporating these elements into my work, it took on such a whole different dimension,” said Morrison, who recently installed a sculpture titled “Borrowed Light” on the grounds of the Southwest Oklahoma City Public Library.
“Metal is flat and not particularly fluid but when you use a laser, it changes how people view it. In the 10 years I've been working with metal, I've tried to push the limits even more. The use of color can have dramatic effects.”
“Borrowed Light” is 8½ feet high and has five cylindrical columns that create a cloverleaf design. Each of the vertical panels features an intricate laser design that is backed with a bluish green material that creates a perception of depth. At night, LED lighting inside the sculpture causes it to glow.
“I'm an avid reader and a believer that books offer a wonderful way to experience the universe,” Morrison explained. “It doesn't matter if you get that knowledge through a book or an electronic format; the process is the same. Anyone who's willing to go through the front door of a library has access. ‘Borrowed Light' is the information you find.”