"To Tame A Beast" is a 12' tall interactive public sculpture.
Assumption Sculpture Garden
Historic Germanton Neighborhood
1213 7th Ave N Nashville, TN
Special thanks to The Historic Germantown Neighborhood Association and their Public Arts Committee for the opportunity to share my work.
Could a beast be tamed?
To work or fight or die.
Giving up on hopes and dreams
Without pause to ask why.
Would a beast be tamed?
Through rules and laws and shame.
A life of sticks and carrots,
A rigged eternal game.
Should a beast be tamed?
To hit its cues on stage.
To bury every instinct
Content inside a cage.
This beast was never tamed.
The Wild won't leave its head.
And when their chains all rust away,
This beast tames you instead.
NASHVILLE, TN — For professional fabrication artist and sculptor Brian Somerville, creativity is a wild animal. It’s one that can’t be kept behind four walls, and demands to be exposed to the fresh air. Brian, a graduate of the Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville’s Periscope program, has been making art for public and private collections for almost 20 years.
Now, Brian’s art is leaping out of the traditional gallery space and into a more experimental exhibition venue. His latest work—which is entitled, “To Tame A Beast”—will be the centerpiece of the sculpture garden for the Historic Germantown Neighborhood Association. The garden (located at 1213 7th Avenue), will be the new home for “To Tame A Beast.” This sculpture will be the first in a series of different art pieces planned to populate the garden.
The sculpture is Brian’s original concept, which symbolizes the story arc of an artist’s life. “To Tame A Beast” is both a self-contained narrative and another piece in Brian’s schematics for a fantasy-themed “Epiclog Island” immersive art project.
Brian explains the meaning behind each element of the installation thusly. “The rhino is the beast-like innocence of childhood, roaming for meaning. The ship is the adventurous beginnings of an art career, built for purpose and given direction. The tree is middle age’s laying down of roots, letting the world come to it for stability and consistency. The lighthouse represents hope, teaching, and the inclination to give back to those starting out in the world of art.”
Accompanying the project’s multi-faceted design is an equally eclectic mix of materials, including metal, foam, fiberglass, epoxy, and concrete. Standing at 12-feet tall, “To Tame A Beast” is a monumental public art installation. “The height of this project is really a sweet spot for my work,” Brian explains. “Smaller work doesn’t always have the impact that I’d like. Something too big becomes difficult to move. ‘To Tame A Beast’ is big enough to command the viewer’s attention, but also allows me to cover the installation with its own geography of detail.”
Brian is still pursuing conventional showcase opportunities. However, with this latest project, he wants to branch out into alternative spaces, like music festivals, tattoo parlors, hospitality spaces, and theme parks. The goal of this new line of work is to create art that can be leased to different locations so that it may be enjoyed by many more people—some of whom might not visit a conventional art gallery.
From previous works, Brian learned the power of making interactive works. That experience will be carried over into the creation of “To Tame A Beast.” Brian says, “I hope to include some moving parts, working LED lights, and hidden compartments into this sculpture. I also want to make this work as a spot for geocaching and scavenger hunts.” “Germantown is a vibrant community that’s growing in many different ways. The Public Art Committee is making an honest attempt to improve their community with art by supporting local artists,” Brian says.