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Whirling newspapers: Artist’s tornado scultpures made of tabloids, broadsheets

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It’s all the news that’s fit to make paper mache.

Hailing from the Tornado Alley in Oklahoma, Erin Turner makes cyclone sculptures out of a variety of newspapers, including this one — though understandably, the artist hasn’t picked out papers for their scoops.

“It was more of a color-blocked page that I liked,” she said.

Turner made her first sculptures out of paper mache after she spent time working with incarcerated women. She wanted to evoke the feelings of being trapped while also sought out catharsis. After some time, Turner hosted a ritual burning of the works.

Then, she turned to tornadoes.

“I grew up with tornadoes,” said Turner. “They are a symbol of my homeland.”

Since Turner’s sculptures are inspired by the destructive meteorological phenomenon common to the American south and midwest, it makes a certain kind of sense that they’re meant to withstand the elements.

While Turner won’t destroy these works of art, she is leaving it up to mother nature whether they last or not. They will be outside all spring and summer, through rain, hail, and possibly even an actual tornado.

After traveling the world showing off her giant examples of artistic recycling, her paper tornadoes are now at the Heckscher Foundation Children’s Garden on Scholes Street in Williamsburg. She plans to install more at the other New York Restoration Project gardens around Brooklyn later this spring.

“It will be intriguing to see how the elements will affect the sculptures themselves,” she said.

Tornado sculptures at Hecksher Foundation Children’s Garden (134-136 Scholes St. between Manhattan and Graham avenues in Williamsburg). Open every day 10:30 am–noon, 1 pm–3 pm, and at LDC of Broadway Garden (900 Broadway between Lewis Avenue and Stockton Street in Bushwick). Starting May 5, open all day Sat., Sun., until tornados wither.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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Reasonable discourse

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April 30, 2013, 8:46 am
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