A tall, anthropomorphic figure. A totemic Guardian from the front, powerful in its erectness and stillness, a walking figure from the side, like the assyrian winged bulls at the British Museum. Its feminine, elegant, gracious forms invite the viewer to touch and explore its haptic qualities. The question remains though: is it a human being, an animal, a goddess, a tool?
In my work, I explore the profound interdependence of things, revealing the vitality of an animistic, spiritually-charged parallel world.
The starting point of new work are often old, manmade tools. I observe the historically deep emotional connections between human beings and material objects and investigate the process of attachment which leads us to project a personified being onto an inanimate thing. Through our modern fixations with technology and virtual reality, the haptic quality of objects and tools has lost their importance. We have inadvertently designed away the more poetic and enduring characteristics of our material culture and developed a throw-away attitude. The studying of the relationship between emotional attachment and the senses, has led me to investigate the roles that touch plays in our everyday interactions with objects and for our personal well-being.
After an intensive weekend applying the last touches and the protective sealer on the figure, I put my sculpture into my car on Tuesday 19th May, and headed down to Muddiford, Broomhill Art Hotel.
What a warm welcome with tea and homemade brownies to die for.
Paul be blessed for his non-wavering efforts to dig out a hole for the installation of the figure, to cement in the structure, and make it all look like as if the Goddess had been “Wandering” the River Meadow since the beginning of time. Thank you.
Thanks also to Aniet and Rinus for the delicious evening meal and the inspiring and informative discussions we had with Margarita Trushina, one of the co-finalist sculptors, who has been installing her work the same day.
Aniet and Rinus, this is a wonderful opportunity you have created for emerging artists to develop and show they work and create possibilities of exchange and mutual spurring on. It would be just great to have a day where we Finalists could all meet! Think of it :)
Yesterday I had a wonderful day out visiting Broomhill Sculpture Gardens and meeting Rinus and his delightful team at Broomhill Art Hotel.
Rinus made some time and showed me around his stunning sculpture gardens and we found a space where my piece is going to be installed on the 19th May. I was very impressed by the number and variety and quirkiness of the sculptures on show. Such a delight. I feel very proud to be part of the selection this year.
After all these exciting impressions we had a wonderful lunch in a light flooded window bay of one of the many charming rooms at the hotel, which are again full of art. Rinus and Aniet have been collecting art all their life, and the eclectic mix of paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture and found objects reflect their positive, quirky and busy outlook on life!
Julia is the first contestant to have installed her sculpture! Well done, Julia, it looks fab!
A view of my hell kitchen, where life is infused into a future goddess.
The work is intense, but I’m happy how the piece for the Broomhill National Sculpture Prize is coming along.
Adding material and filing back to find the form. My rather traditional way of processing creates a strong bond and quite an intimacy with the piece.
It is long, and it needs to be! I’m learning so much. It is actually only now that I really understand the lines, volumes and rhythms, that I have created! The smaller 3d model was created rather intuitively following the 2d drawings. Working intensively on the reals size sculpture I finally understand the natural linkage of curves and proportions of volume. I’m actually amazed of what i had found already unconsciously and can now rectify what is not quite working yet.
Laying the sculpture into a horizontal position, putting it upside down, not only allows to access difficult to reach areas, but also offers a different perspective and again a learning curve. It helps to check the flow of the forms and perfect it. And, I derive a whole array of ideas for subsequent sculptures. I’m all excited.
Ahhh! I waited a long time for this moment.
Against all odds, the sculpture did fit into my car!! And it fits into my studio. Just about! Just enough space to put my hand between the top part of the sculpture and the ceiling. (I have to remember to calm my ardor for future sculptures. So far any new sculpture had gained 50 cm in height respective to the previous one. Or I have to start looking for a new studio space… any suggestions?)
This week was hard but satisfying work: putting the quadaxial fibreglass matting onto the figure with Jesmonite, which is waterbased and much less toxic then the classic lamination products. It is messy though and can create bigger lumps. Therefore I was ultra careful not to add any thickness where there should not be any to keep the finesse of the contours, all the while making a sturdy sculpture for outside conditions. It meant cutting the fabric to measure and couture positioning with needles.
Now the whole figure is covered and secured and I can progress to the part of work which I adore: putting on more Jesmonite material and working back into the hard surface with chisel and hammer and files and sanding paper to find the forms and lines. Pure bliss!
The black colour you see on the photos is not the colour you get in the end! It is a mixture of Jesmonite with blue, black and red oxide pigments. When poured it appears a deep rich black. But as soon as I touch it with a file or sanding paper it becomes an interesting blue verdigris. I love this phase as it allows to play with texture and colour and make believe (of a material it is not. It looks an aged coppery metal right now, not sure the picture gives it credit though) I also love the lines and texture created by the tools. I will try and keep those! Lucky surprises!
More next week!
After discussing the shape of the metal structure and its fixture to the stand on Wednesday, I returned on Friday, 24th April, to Honeyring LTd – CNC Polystyrene. We inserted the metal structure into the Polystyrene form and Nick and Adam glued the two halves together for me. This company is immensely popular and busy as a beehive. But we did get it all done before the weekend. Thank you guys!
And finally, I can take the sculpture back home into my studio, for the next phase.
I don’t specially want to make any car advertising, but I’m immensely proud to have won all bets. The 230 cm long sculpture, plus 15 cm armature sticking out at the bottom, does fit into my Toyota Prius! Which is great news, as I won’t need to hire a van to bring the sculpture to Broomhill.