“Awake”, bronze sculpture by Peregrine O’Gormley

Peregrine O’Gormley sculpts palm-size rabbits, raptors and invertebrates that fairly pulse with life. They possess the hidden quality of the forest creature, imbued with a quiet presence and dignity captured through a lifetime of observation. Matter: Tacoma made modern is pleased to present the artwork of Peregrine O’Gormley through December 15.

Peregrine is an artist who began life on the road – literally. He was born in a green International pick-up truck on Route 66 in front of the Canyon Gun Shop. From the beginning his name has held true to its meaning; one who journeys, seeks, travels. And his namesake, the Peregrine falcon, has tied him inexorably to the beauty and vitality of the natural world and its living forms.


Bronze sculpture by Peregrine O’Gormley

O’Gormley grew up in the mountains of central New Mexico in a landscape that fed his imagination with the presence of fossils, plants and wildlife. At the age of 5, he regularly climbed the 50 ft. ponderosa tree out front of the family home, an activity that granted him a strong sense of connection to nature, and the importance of thoughtful movement in the out of doors. From early visits to Canada and Alaska, he gained a deep appreciation for Northwest art, enthralled by the origin myths that spoke out of the breathtaking landscape.

At his studio, O’Gormley sculpts in wood, much of it driftwood or material reclaimed from his immediate surroundings. Juniper, Western Red Cedar, Maple and Yew are local favorites. From the raw wood, he draws a sense of the tree it originally came from: Its scents, idiosyncrasies, and the unique living histories described in its rings are all released as he pushes the sharp blade through its grain. The artist credits his father with passing on to him a deep reverence for the natural world, tempered with a serious concern for its well-being. As a species we are at a critically decisive moment in history, he says; one of profound changes to our global ecology that we are still able to influence. Peregrine O’Gormley lives with his wife, Laurel O’Keefe-Crow, and kids Osha and Ever, in the Skagit Valley, WA.

Matter: Tacoma made modern is at 821 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma (open Saturdays 12-6 and by appointment). We are a design showroom featuring the work of Steve Lawler (rePly Furniture), Adrienne Wicks + Jeff Libby (birdloft) and Lisa Kinoshita (Moss + Mineral). For questions about this show, please email, or call 253.961.5220.

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