London Craft Week: Brixton
Whilst we can’t hop onto a plane to ancient Greece or some lost civilisation and explore the scenery, this week Squire & Partners are hosting a free showcase of 25 works of bronze gold.
The Original models are encased in bronze, not just to provide that fresh, clean finish but also to preserve the original pieces, which themselves, don’t tend to last much longer than a month.
One mask that particularly caught our eye was James Green’s called the Elephant King. The sculpture incorporates a series of elaborate decorative shapes that combine to form a mask that looks Mayan or Aztec at first glance.
The Elephant King itself was made from cardboard, and the whole thing was cut with an electrically powered jigsaw tool. The mask has been polished but also given darker recesses to highlight the depth of the carvings which decorate the mask itself.
In Tom Winstanley (our guide) expert opinion “the pattern the work that’s drawn on top is quite playful, it’s joyful, it’s something that’s been inherently ‘round for a long time and its decorative language that’s been applied to this, the whole artwork has a quite a decorative feel to it. But it holds its own because it has its own weight to it, which is referencing an ancient history of casting”.
But don’t assume that every piece started as a fine sculpture. Tom explained the process and intention behind a Bolangian piece which started as a painting. The sculpture itself was digitally made and then some computer programs later we have our sculpture. Manikin hands gripping a rope with emphasised fingernails.
The funny look is thanks to the sculpture being left in its natural state for a bit then sandblasted, before being welded together in certain sections creating iridescent colouring on areas of the art. He technique also left us with a glittering finish that shows off bronze in an entirely new and unique way. “There’s a point where you being to stop making the sculpture and that’s the finished article, and it feels right that it’s been stopped within the process”.
– Jamal Davis
– Photos by Zubair Karmalkar