Architectural / Terrain Sculptures

The sculptures in is section span some seven years (2003-2010). They are a move away from abstraction towards representation provoked by my interest to “ground” or make more visible the digital deformations I was working with on the computer. The architectural model is a kind of transitional object, it emerges from drawing, yet not the “real thing”, a simulacra.

There is a preoccupation with the idea of the object being both a model and a sculpture in its own right, juxtaposing scale and material. For me, the shifts of scale, the distortions hinting at perspective inhabiting the object give these works a playful quality. They propose a familiar ambiguity between experiencing an object in itself as well as projecting an imaginary space for it.

The digital model, in its virtuality can be “called up” to be acutalized again as happened with one of the works for the Chelsea Physic Garden (2004) finding a new incarnation in “Landform” (2008), from unfired clay to cast iron. With the landforms there is an inversion: we are used to considering sculpture in the landscape, but here sculpture is the landscape.

The cast iron works were all made during summer workshops at the Museum of Steel Sculpture in Shropshire where Pam Brown, the director of the Museum, opened her studio for annual cast iron events, using a cupola furnace, inviting American graduate student artists as furnace crews under the direction of Rick Batten. The hillsides around Ironbridge inspired the work, Untitled (Mountain), which I was invited to make for the 5th International Conference on Cast Iron Art in 2006 which took place in Ironbridge, the crucible itself of iron casting.

Included here is work conceived and made during my third visit to the EKWC (2007). This was a three month sabbatical on the Combined Residency programme where artists and architects can work together. I invited two architects — Anderson Inge (see “Collaborations” on this website) and Prof. Alberto Sdegno (see “Villa and Rake” page in this section) — to work on two very different collaborative projects which proceeded on the basis of periodic visits.

Meanwhile, I also pursued my own individual exploration on the theme of sculpture and architecture, object and space (see Spatial Studies, EKWC, 2007 page). These works, like Untitled (Mountain), were not digitally derived. Paradoxically, there is a page of “real” maquettes, objects that don’t aspire to anything beyond their function to propose a future, larger version, on the “Real Maquettes” page.

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