Jeremy and David Bullis
Jeremy Bullis after David Bullis is a collaboration that began almost 50 years ago between father and son. Jeremy, always curious about what his father was making, would stand by his side asking, “Can I do it?” Fortunately, David was eager to pass on his knowledge as a sculptor, painter, woodworker, and mechanic. He took the time to teach Jeremy the skills and patience needed for making what he was creating.
David had always been fascinated by things that could fly or swim. In their element these vehicles or animals could float, soar, spin, dart, dive, and glide as if by magic. The mobiles are a study of these movements. With delicate lines the mobiles attempt to capture a snapshot of action and then recreate motion with balance and a breeze. In his own practice David meditated on each piece, seeing each shape from all sides, watching it interact with the others, watching a new image form in shadow and then slowly disappear, never to be repeated in exactly the same way again. The mobiles provide a moment of calm joy - one can appreciate them with a glance, but stopping and watching for a moment, just like we do with birds or fish, is what was hoped for.
David only showed the mobiles twice in his life, both times in Salem, Ohio. After his passing in 2011, in an attempt to honor the enormous archive of work that he had created in his lifetime, his family began looking for exhibition opportunities. With a limited number of completed mobiles in the estate Jeremy decided to pick up the mantle and, just as his father did, replicate the works of art in limited editions. Some of the language that David developed has come easily to Jeremy, both pairs of hands seemingly programmed to create a curve here rather than there. Other aspects have required more study and practice. Now, Jeremy spends time trying to get into his Father’s thought process and continue his meditations on wonder, fear, regret and simple joys aiming to imbue each replicated edition with the same light, hopeful spirit that David used. He is also adding his own vocabulary to this language of wire and shadow and hopes to continue the conversation with his father for many years to come.
David Bullis (1942 - 2011) lived in North Benton, Ohio. From the beginning he was an outsider with a dark sense of humor, a curiosity that rural Ohio could not satisfy, and a need to create. When graduating high school he was told by his father that he could not be an artist. That, “Making art is not a job.” David’s response was to join the Navy and see the world. He became a fighter jet mechanic on an aircraft carrier and toured the Asian Seas. After the Navy he spent the late 60’s exploring the North and South Western United States, experimenting with painting, making sand candles, and racing cars. Eventually he returned to Ohio, got married and raised a family. He had a large workshop/studio where he spent the large majority of his free time creating and building things. Not satisfied with just fitting in the time to create art, he took early retirement and devoted the last 15 years of his life to doing what he wanted to do - paint, sculpt, carve, build, and write.
Jeremy’s artistic interests were encouraged and nurtured from the earliest age by both of his artistically talented parents. He too left rural Ohio after high school, but headed East, to New York City. He worked as an artist in NYC for 25 years creating sculptures, creatures, masks, costumes and sets for his own exhibitions, as well as Broadway, dance, film, and television. Now in Hudson, NY his current sculptural project is Bullis Towers, a study of Fantasy, Fact and Humanity’s shared experience. He is also the Artistic Director of Window On Hudson and co-founder of the 2econd Saturday Hudson Gallery Crawl.