Final stage assembly of the cast aluminium sections being welded together. One final to stage to go – completing the surface and its patina.
Here are shots of the London Bronze Casting foundry team casting Sentinel in aluminium.
Over the past weeks, the construction and creation of Sentinel in wood has been completed, with in-the-making changes evolving and taking effect. An essential part of the making – as Sentinel is not a simple scaling-up of the maquette but rather a development in terms of material and dimensions – has been responding intuitively to these changes and resolving them. Due to the hand-carved and meticulous nature of the construction this involved a number of intuitive and calculated risks to reach a point of balance and tension that will finally be realised when the piece converts to metal. All the intricate and naturally occurring surfaces that emerge from the splitting of wood, intentioned carving and shaping will be brought into an entirely different register once the casting in metal is complete.
A major change was the introduction of clean, planed ‘planks’ in the top-most section of the work to interrupt the otherwise dense surface detail of the lower sections. It also created a different form of ‘barrier’, more dense and wall-like than those below.
Today, Sentinel is delivered to the workshop of London Bronze Casting for moulding and preparation for direct casting in aluminium.
This process will be the subject of the next post, working alongside the technical team at London Bronze Casting where Sentinel will convert into its final form in their foundry.
As an entity that watches, or guards, ‘Sentinel’ is precisely that – a sculpture that clearly references the watchtower or guardpost, even the fantastical, yet is explicitly neither. Instead, it inhabits a scale between the architectural model and the average human. The small viewing ports allow us to gaze through and between, as it gazes back at us and beyond, creating a shared experience of watching and being watched. This act is both ancient, in terms of survival and instinct, yet completely contemporary, as we inhabit a world where the limits and definitions of surveillance, observation and the private/public space are continuously debated and re-drawn.
Constructed originally and entirely from Balsa wood – the material of choice of the model-maker – ‘Sentinel’ references both intricate, pre-industrial construction and the rough-hewn defensive or observational structures of old.
However, ‘Sentinel’ is rendered in gleaming, white-patina aluminium, converting the material of pre-industry and the hand-made to a refined, contemporary medium. The surface will retain the aesthetic and distinct individuality of the original wood, yet never weather or rot. It will instead remain as is: a ‘Sentinel’.