I was really looking forward to the sculpture experiment part of this innocent artistry mission, partly because I think sculptors are mad. I used to go to the club-night in an art school years ago and the following day, the dance-floor was usually littered with blood and body parts: for some reason all those rugged sculpture boys (and they were boys) were the meatheads of the place, and wouldn’t stop fighting. Maybe all that carrying and carving lumps of wood and rock had knocked the sense out of them.
I can’t see myself using marble (oh come on – how the hell…?) Nor can I picture myself standing enraptured in front of a rock waiting for its spirit guide to communicate, or for the shape to emerge. Predictably, when male artists ask the stone what it wants to be, the answer is often a naked lady.
Also, I loathe most of those awful mannered marble efforts, like Cannova’s creations, finding them prissy. As for classical Greek sculpture, I want to replenish their original gaudy colours, because they are too pure and soulless without it.
I will not be forcing massive ingots of metal through a grinder, or nailing forests together. I must accept the limitations I am working with. I can’t see why sculptures must be massive, or even made of stone (despite that making the majority of purchases for the those fantastic new outdoor sculpture parks) so I decided to make some micro-sculptures.
As for materials, well I am still travelling, and will always remember the joy of luscious Mediterranean fruit, sometimes standing over the sink as the delicious juice ran down my wrist. I wanted to use, and channel this image, while evoking the legend of Persephone and the pomegranate pips. I began by saving and scrubbing all my fruit stones, and consulted my talented friend Sybren Renema who had the following advice:
(1) The back is just as important as the front
(2) The sculpture tells you when it is finished
Wise, useful and inspiring words.
I’ve bought some metallic ink along. While researching icons, I was reminded that we now associate precious metal, especially gold, with being tacky, and with bling, and with nouveau riche notions of value. It’s easy to forget that gold is appreciated not just because of its price, but because it is beautiful. It glints in the sun.
I assembled some stones, and encased them in metallic thread. It was the most intricate to achieve, and took the most forward planning. You can see the result above.
When every task is over, I must decide what to do with anything I produced. I can’t possibly carry all of my creations, but I’m pleased with this piece, and I might try sculpture again. I think the setting contributed to the work, and having seen it glistening in the sun on crystal sands, the ocean sparkling in the background, I can’t imagine that it would look effective on rainy concrete. I might keep it, just to make sure.