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Carl Berney

The ancient circle of stones at Stonehenge, seated Egyptian monarchs, stone Buddhas from India and China: these masterpieces of antiquity are only a few of the magnificent stoneworks that have come down to us from the hand of humanity over the centuries.

In our high tech world, the age-old technique of direct carving in stone continues today. CARL BERNEY melds the beauty of stone-the "bones of the earth"-with a spiritual aesthetic.

"I love stone," says the artist, "the shape and feel of it. It is so durable. It's a demanding medium, both physically and mentally, but it's exhilarating when you enter the stone and let it guide you to the final form."

CARL BERNEY works in marble as well as limestone and alabaster. He learned to carve marble in Pietrasanta, Italy, with its ancient quarries that were opened by Michelangelo. In Italy he worked side by side with the artesani, acquiring time-honed knowledge.

"The process is the same as it's been for 30,000 years," says the artist. "We have better tools now, but I feel a real tie to the sculptors of antiquity."

CARL BERNEY is drawn to the spiritual traditions of different cultures, believing they all relate to the same universal source. The feminine principle is a guiding influence. He has created goddess figures, a nine-ft.-tall female oracle, as well as abstract torsos. His recent work includes feline forms including a cheetah and domestic cats.

"Cats are so fluid," says the artist. "They are natural subjects for sculpture."

A monk with flowing robes, Buddha, and Kokopelli-the mythological flute player of the Southwest-combine the spiritual and the stone in the manner of the ancients.

CARL BERNEY has exhibited his work in California and New Mexico and has won prizes in juried competition. STANDING STONES STUDIO is in San Luis Obispo California.

Many of CARL BERNEY's stone sculptures are available as bronze castings.

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© Carl Berney, all rights reserved.