Berta Leone, American, b. 1960
West Virginia native Berta Leone has lived and studied in the United States, Canada and Europe. Her honors include the Cadre Award from the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum and an Award of Merit from the Tampa Museum of Art. She has exhibited at Tampa’s Covivant Gallery and St. Petersburg’s Florida Craftsman Gallery. Most recently, she exhibited at TSL in Hudson, NY and Bard College, Annandale-on-the Hudson, NY. Her work has been published in GQ UK magazine, as well as reviewed for Chronogram Magazine (Kingston, NY) and The Independent (Hudson, NY).
Metal work dates back to 1995 when she began experimenting with multiple grid systems. Quilts, beds and flags are transformed into "memorials." Quilts are cut from flat bar steel, patterned, and then stitched together with wire. A 700-lb. “bed” is composed of rusty metal window sash weights suspended from a mattress spring grid system with colorful, aged jump ropes.
E PLURIBUS UNUM (Out of Many – One), is a 500-lb. American flag made from “spent” brass, copper and lead bullets. Over 30,000 bullets were sorted, drilled, and finally hand-stitched together with wire. She states, “After researching materials and methods, work began in November 1999 and was completed Fourth of July week 2001. The bullets are seductive – they sparkle like gems. Since they are used(spent), the surface is somewhat dulled, smashed and blackened by the gunpowder.”