Conocular by Bill Martin


Displayed at the Pawtucket Arts Festival in 2001, Conocular was selected by a six-member panel of artists for purchase and installation in the city. The sculpture was placed at the front entrance of the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center and in 2011 relocated to the side of the building on High Street. 

Martin draws his inspiration almost entirely from mechanical references and machinery, generally with an industrial revolution aesthetic. Conocular’s larger base forms are meant to mimic power lines, while the smaller, mid-section cones call on the shape of megaphones or speaker systems such as one would see in a concert hall.
In connecting his work to Pawtucket, he expresses a fondness for the inner workings of textile mills, writing: “The textile mill machinery has exposed mechanical parts that can be seen moving that I have always loved and drawn inspiration from.” That movement, too, becomes a part of his work. All forms set at an angle, from the base to the tilted ring of middle shapes, the sculpture appears to be caught mid-spin, as if in dance.

Known for his sculptural contraptions that appear to have function but in fact have none, Martin hopes that viewers will be able to imagine new and exciting narratives for his work. Holding a BFA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and an MFA from Louisiana State University, he has mastered working in wood and steel along with blacksmithing and iron casting.  His work has shown nationally and is included in many collections, including the DeCordova Sculpture Park, Indiana State University, the New Orleans Hilton Riverside Paul Buckley Collection, and The Fidelity Investment Collection. Martin teaches sculpture at Rhode Island College.

Todd Stong

Correspondence with the artist



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