The first piece in The Illusion of Permanence series of sculptures emerged from Lake Michigan almost fully formed. While walking along the shore, Ferrella encountered a piece of burned driftwood, refined by tumbling waves. The sensual flow of the found wood inspired Ferrella to begin burning wood with intention to achieve a similar effect. He found that the resulting forms were stunning when left to the devices of fire and serendipity.

The Illusion of Permanence features a collection of exquisitely painted sculptures made of burnt wood and found objects paired with intimate oil-painted insect portraits from his Insex series. Social and environmental causes are at the root of Ferrella’s work, and such is the case with The Illusion of Permanence. Though this selection of work was motivated by a desire to create something visually beautiful, a closer inspection reveals underlying themes of environmental decimation, loss and Samsara. Many of the sculptures possess a kinetic element, adding a dramatic flare.

Art Toast with Margaret Lemay, 2022