Dance Hill Collection



Ronald V. Sullivan

Dance Hill Collection came about more by accident than by design. One day while surfing the web I happened to come across a Shona sculpture, in stone, created by the hands of a Zimbabwean artist. I was immediately intrigued by the artistry, the craftsmanship, the imagination. Initially I wanted to import and sell Shona sculpture, exposing more people to this wonderful art; but that plan did not materialize and I ended up taking up sculpting stone.

After a relatively short time working with stone I started carving wood. It wasn’t that I had exhausted the possibilities of stone – I wasn’t even close to doing that, but I figured wood should perhaps be a little easier to manage in some respects. I started collecting wood from anywhere along the street where trees were being cut down. In short order I had collected a variety of woods. Black Locust wood was the first kind of wood I started carving; it turned out to be one of the hardest and toughest American woods! But I was rewarded with grain and color that was certainly striking and eye catching.

I don’t have any formal training, but over the years I’ve grown more and more comfortable with process, technique and tools, and more importantly, I think my creative vision has expanded and grown.

I’m continually amazed at the beauty inherent in those of nature’s raw material that I use, namely wood and stone. I read somewhere that there are over 80,000 different species of trees!

What intrigues me the most is the ability to create something that starts or helps to reveal the inner (or at least the less ‘seen’ or ‘less appreciated’) beauty of nature’s ‘raw’ materials, whether in or outside of the context of our varied and individual modern day experiences or ‘sensibilities’. When I’m able to create such works, think I’ve been successful in achieving my goal.​