PULSE: How Noel Middleton Carved an 8-Foot Wood Necklace

NEW YORK—Noel Middleton says he spent a few weeks working on “Invocation for One,” a large-scale strand of beads he carved from cedar he found near his home in Toronto. The entire time, he sat on a stump of black oak perfecting and smoothing the angles of each bead. Only when he had almost completed the work did he realize that the block of wood he had been using as a stool would serve as a perfect pendant. Middleton shared insights about the sculptural beads at the Narwhal Projects booth where his work is on display at the PULSE Contemporary Art Fair. Visually weighted down with the pendant, the piece he created is very different from what he envisioned. He says some people see a decorative necklace, others believe it is a Rosary. Middleton says it explores burdens, whether heavy, emotional or material.

All of the artist’s work—including beaded strands, masks, sculptural cabinets and alphahedrons—is created with wood he reclaims, usually within a five to six hour radius of his home. He says some of the wood used in “Invocation for One” was provided by his uncle.

Middleton’s work is on display at PULSE, which runs from May 3 to May 6, 2012 at the Metropolitan Pavilion.

Photos by Arts Observer

“Invocation for One,” 2012 (cedar, black maple, braided copper wire, Tung oil) by Noah Middleton at Narwhal Projects of Toronto. The beaded strand is eight-feet-long and the pendant is three feet in height.

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