Artist and art teacher Rebecca De Groot creates delightfully sinister works of functional art. From small objects to large tables, her wooden sculptures stand on delicate insectoid legs, each poised to skitter or skulk away the moment their owners aren’t looking. That is, unless they’d rather inch closer.
De Groot’s sculptures are primarily made of wood (some feature metalwork as well), but they’re so utterly transformed by her painstaking process of shaping and sanding that they ultimately lose their resemblance to anything of this world and become wonderfully alien.
“You may look at my work and see a piece of wooden art; I see time, energy, sweat, and probably blood put into a part of who I am as an artist. My work reflects my habit of overachieving. It’s not just a bowl; it also has a working tambour. It may not just be a table, but something that looks as though it walked off the set of a Sci-Fi film. Others may sand to 180, but I’ll sand past 320. I move my work past acceptable to make it extraordinary.”
Although they often seem to share the same otherworldly DNA, no two of De Groot’s sculptures are exactly alike. Some feature defensive spikes, some appear as though they’ll soon release spores, and others silently wait for their tendrils to gently brush against you as you pass, simply to find out how you taste.
The number of legs on each wooden creature varies quite a bit. But no matter their size, each pieces appears very nimble. They can probably steal up walls and across ceilings as easily as crossing the floor. This is artwork one shouldn’t turn one’s back on, which is part of why we love it.
Listen closely and you can almost hear Delia Deetz lamenting, “If only I’d gotten into woodworking…”