Bill Worrell was continually energized by the challenge of creating ever-evolving variations of the timeless images, visualizing himself alongside his so-called “primitive counterparts” and striving to capture the essence of their expressions through the contemporary methods of painting and sculpture. Each sculptural design was created in wax and cast in limited edition bronzes by the “lost wax” method. After the casting is extracted from its silica investment, it is cleaned and chastened. Dramatic contrasts are then developed by the application of chemicals that produce colorful patinas alongside highly polished areas.
When sculpting and painting, Worrell would often write simultaneously. These writings were initially brought to the public eye as inscriptions on the back of Worrell’s bronze sculptures, acrylics on canvas, and wearable sculptures, and they offer a glimpse into the artistic mind at work. Written with heart and soul, these writings are Worrell’s own intimate reflections and ponderings on subjects ranging from the passage of time to the existence of “spirits,” and from spiritual wonderings to the pursuit and joyful celebration of the blessings of increasing clarity and light. His interpretations of ancient pictographic and petroglyphic art have enthralled art lovers worldwide and have captured the attention of archaeologists and theologians as well.
Worrell’s style is multi-faceted and descriptive, “The work is not an attempt to document this cave, cliff, and rock art. The intention has been to represent it on canvas, in silver, and in bronze. The paintings are representations. The bronzes are interpretations in a three dimensional medium.” If we could amalgamate a priest, a lawyer, a chiropractor, a medical doctor, and a judge into a single entity, there would then exist an individual who could perform the tasks of an ancient shaman of the Lower Pecos. This person did not choose to be a shaman, he or she was chosen, appointed, or called to be a shaman, and he or she practically always denied, refuted, or resisted this calling until a severe illness, usually to the point of death, fell upon this individual. This is what made the person submit to the calling. Duties and gifts then included the healing of the sick, the arbitration of disputes, and the making of restitution with The Great Spirits for those things taken from nature that fed and clothed the people. The ancients believed that the shamans could transform themselves into different animals, thus the representations of those entering the dream world, or spirit journeys. These symbols have been inspired by the wonderful artwork of the ancient Lower Pecos People.
Worrell’s work can be found in private and corporate fine art collections around the world. He has been a featured artist in more than one hundred one-man shows and exhibitions and in numerous two-man and group exhibitions. His seventeen-foot monumental bronze entitled “The Maker of Peace”, owned by the State of Texas, overlooks the ancient Fate Bell rock shelter at Seminole Canyon State Historical Park between Langtry and Comstock, Texas, west of Del Rio. Exposures Gallery is the largest gallery for Worrell art and the only gallery in the world with Bill Worrell’s complete collection on display.
He was a great friend to all and we at the gallery and all who loved him were devastated to lose him in April of 2021. Thankfully we have his inspirational sculptures and written words to keep us forever in his presence.