As Artist Finds Inspiration, “Sea Change” Hits LS Cedar

As Artist Finds Inspiration, “Sea Change” Hits LS Cedar

For decades, Leigh Sorensen wanted to create sculpture. When she arrived on Vashon, she found him there, waiting for her.

For decades, Leigh Sorensen wanted to create sculpture.

Then, “I arrived on Vashon, and there she was, waiting for me,” she said.

For Sorensen, now 80, it seems the inspiration came just in time. His sculptural dreams have been realized as organized and assembled driftwood – in an exhibit called “Sea Change”, currently on display until the end of September on the south side of LS Cedar.

The pop-up gallery space, across from the Vashon Center for the Arts, became a fixation in Sorensen’s mind as she searched for a suitable material for the bases of the sculptures.

Loren Sinner, the owner of LS Cedar, smiled as he remembered Sorensen’s request.

“It was his idea to put it there, and it’s great,” he said. “Everyone likes it.”

Sorensen, a former journalist and landscape architect, has felt an artistic attraction to the sea since childhood.

“In 1956 I made a driftwood mobile that still hangs in my family’s house on Fire Island,” she said.

This memory of this mobile may have seeped into a piece currently on display at LS Cedar, “Riff Raff” – a Calder-like assemblage made entirely of driftwood.

The collection of works has a whimsical air, but the origin story is more serious.

Recently transplanted to Vashon, Sorensen wrote in her artist statement about the impact of climate change on her life, partly driving her, after the death of her husband, from the home they had shared for more than 40 years, built on a salt marsh estuary. in New Jersey.

“Our house on the New Jersey shore flooded several times during our years there, and with climate change, flooding was more frequent,” she wrote. “I couldn’t imagine dealing with them without my husband’s help. Ironically, what scared me off the East Coast was a boon to me on the West Coast.

Here Sorensen immediately noticed the driftwood – because there was so much of it.

“There is little driftwood on the East Coast due to a fully developed waterfront,” she said.

Sorensen lives near Portage but said Governor’s Row on Burton Beach is her favorite place to seek inspiration, always accompanied by her dog. She would also like to thank her neighbors, Alun Vick and Judy Wright, for helping her transport and assemble the facility.

“Sea Change” will be released at the end of the month to avoid seasonal inclement weather, but Sorensen is planning a return show in the spring.

“The pop-up art on Vashon makes so much sense,” she said. “There are so many beautiful outdoor spaces. The shapes of nature are so wonderful – the undulating shore, the way the tide leaves a mark in the sand on the beach, the mountains, the way the trees twist. I find it all absolutely irresistible.

Correction: In The Beachcomber print version of this story, Leigh Sorensen’s last name was incorrectly listed as Sullivan. We regret the error.

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