Thomas Ferrella: The Illusion of Permanence


November 1, 2021 – April 30, 2022


Friday, May 6, 2022 | 5-9 PM

Watch our recent studio tour with Thomas here:

Thomas Ferrella is a self-taught Wisconsin artist who explores a variety of artistic mediums, including photography, music, film, painting, large scale installations, and sculpture.

The first piece in The Illusion of Permanence series of sculptures emerged from Lake Michigan almost fully formed. While walking along the shore, Ferrella encountered a piece of burned driftwood, refined by tumbling waves. The sensual flow of the found wood inspired Ferrella to begin burning wood with intention to achieve a similar effect. He found that the resulting forms were stunning when left to the devices of fire and serendipity.

Using the fire-sculpted forms as a base, Ferrella incorporates intricate oil paintings and found objects. Each piece is unique; a closer look may reveal a goose wing, a baseball bat, a candelabra from a Catholic church, or cedar posts from a house fire. While Ferrella states he was motivated by a desire to create something aesthetically pleasing, his works reveal a dichotomy of beauty and destruction in the natural world, or Samsara (the circle of life).

Eight sculptures possess a kinetic element that brings a lively and charming interactive experience.

This selection of sculptures is paired with paintings from the Insex series. The exquisite Insex paintings depict insects mating, a subject Ferrella had yet to see thoroughly investigated in fine art.

Thomas Ferrella would like to give a special thanks to artist and mentor, Enrique Rueda for his time and opinions and sharing his extremely invaluable knowledge of wood.