Pants too big

The target was to have this piece ready for The Small Sculpture Prize at the end of March 2019. I had seen a bronze somewhere of a man keeping his pants up with his two hands, This reminded me of when I was a child with hand-me-down pants from my older brother. After school, during sheep shearing time, I would change into these work pants and race off to the shearing shed, along the way often stopping to hoist my pants up, or re-tie the binder twine that was being used as a belt. So, the image I had when I saw this piece was that of standing in the shed hoisting my pants up.

Pants Too Big (Height 50cm)

The piece is sculptured from jarrah hardwood, Boyup Brook origin. As mentioned in previous blogs the jarrah I have stored is from a strong wind event in 2000 where many of the paddock jarrahs were blown over. These are the original jarrahs, many of which were 200+ years old. Boyup Brook, in the Blackwood Valley, is known for having the best jarrah timber in the world, both for construction and feature furniture.

Apart from the use of fine carving tools, I have also employed Shou-sugi-ban technique of charring to give contrast and hardening of the wood. The pants were charred using a blow-torch then wirebrushed and sanded. This process occurred a number of times to give depth to the colouration.

The 2019 Small Sculptures Prize exhibition at Christian Fletcher’s Gallery was wonderfully attended over the 3 days of the March long weekend. “Pants Too Big” sold to a wonderful home and also was awarded the People’s Choice Award.

Sculpture By The Bay 2016

The crowd of over 6000 people were in concert when they described this year’s exhibition as the best in the life of the event …. a stunning display of works, 33 in total. And to have 16 of the works sell is fantastic for the artists and the public.

This a selection of the works with my interpretation of their story.

20160305_182720

This is my entry into SBB – Roll out the Barrel.  A song that I remember my father and many others bursting out with when he tried his hands on the piano, something he had a natural gift at.  The negative space signifies the age of the song, something in the past, …. tends to enable the viewer to imagine, dream, how was it all then.  Jarrah and copper blend well together.  I like to do the exaggerated muscle definition on figures.  Enjoyed doing this piece.

 

20160306_175708

Only the Ocean (Dale Bentley – Charlie Chop). Inspired by Mick Fanning’s battle with the shark.  The scale is spot on, and the posture imposing and positive.  I love the position in the landscape and the way the light bounces through the torso.  The construction looks light but strong and balanced.  Excellent piece that should grace a point overlooking a surf break.

20160305_182959

Two pieces … Dingo by the Bay and Free.Dingo is by Chris Latham is a very effective statement that dingos used to wander these parts of the south-west and now have been forced into the arid areas by urbanisation etc.  The dingo has arid colours on the inland side and ocean colours the other.  I can envisage it in a sculpture park.  Free (Christian Farrell) on the ocean is what people envisage happening on holidays in places as Dunsborough …. relaxing, blissful, getting away, lost.

20160305_185231

Tidal Totems (Merle Davis) – a colourful, interactive (Jenny Clark and Chris Latham), engaging work made from abandoned synthetic fishing rope, nets, plastics and floats salvaged from the ocean.   Left in the ocean it tangles with the environment to cause death and disaster.

20160305_183016

A Succulent Piece of Fish (Scott Michell) – a joyful play on words, and a magnificent garden piece.  I know it is now positioned in a front garden at Yallingup and will continue to grow in itself and on the owners.  A lovely ornament.

20160306_163640

Alma (Deborah Campbell).  A skirt made from pressed tin is very effective to tell the story of pioneer women, and a fabulous way of recycling what was someones ceiling or wall.  From all directions this piece has shape and style.

20160305_182912

Woven Reflections (Emma Headley).  Looking initially at this piece you don’t see that the main component is aluminium soft drink cans cut into strips.  The colours achieved and the reflection on the mirror, plus the square sections of aviary wire, has the mind conjuring up a range of images from freeways to high rise metropolis.  I’m a fan!

20160305_182847

Return to Gaia (Daniel Fisher).  Evokes a lot of emotions …. Avatar, searching for a life, treading carefully, despair, reaching out.  I can imagine this was a very emotional piece to make.  The spoons are very effective as leaves.

Cocoon (Sue Smorthwaite), felted wool.  It would be fascinating to put this work into a public art environment to see how nature would interact with it  ….. and how it would interact with nature, would it keep it’s colour, shape?  A medium not often considered for public art, but perhaps we should!

Bush Buddies go to the Beach (Lily Mercer), stoneware ceramics.  This is Edwina the emu, a joyful interacting work that can go indoors or in the garden.  Once you meet Lily one realises where the character of her pieces come from, bubbly, vivacious, smiling, out there.

These are but a few of the works that were exhibited at this years Sculpture By The Bay, Dunsborough, Western Australia, Australia.  For all photos of the exhibits look at facebook Sculpture by the Bay.

 

 

 

Plzen Synagogue statement

A wonderful small bronze and sandstone piece that so vividly describes the battle of developing the synagogue, and recognition of a culture, within this town and region.  The Jewish faith abounds with these stories of oppression and meeting challenges.  One cannot help but admire these achievements, but in the same light it shows ho it is part of human nature to strike out at achievers and those that do things a little differently.

This piece is in the Plzen synagogue (May 2014) along with other small bronzes, equally expressive of the then and now.  This piece is only about 500mm high in total, the figure about 200mm, but the lines of the body express strongly that defiance and will of mind.  A memorable piece.

pushing up hill

pushing up hill

It is becoming quite common for places of worship to display modern art that expresses the history of the culture associates with the supporting culture.  For me this has become an improvement, helping to explain the background, purpose, place.