I have been enjoying my residency at the Kitty Harri Sculpture Garden in Andalusia, Spain.
I have been tasked wth carving two sculptures for the Garden’s permanent public art collection. My first piece, executed during the month of December, 2018 is a classical inspired female torso in a yellow marble from Macael, Spain. The second is a fantasy piece of a horse emerging from a breaking ocean wave, carved from white Macael marble.
I completed the torso just before Christmas and it stands about 5 feet tall. Because Kitty and Nick were away to Sweden for the holidays, I stood the finished sculpture in a corner of the studio work area, fitted a protective “boot” and lashed it to a supporting post. I drilled a mounting pin hole, but until it’s installed, I wanted to secure it for viewers during the Garden public opens. I’m pleased with her contraposto pose and the markings of the marble make an interesting pattern on the surface. There is a small cavern on her right hip that has tiny calcium crystals growing on the interior of the void. I think this has added another story to the sculpture, as the viewer can admire my artwork first, then draw closer to admire Mother Nature’s work in the coloured striations and the cavelike void.
I chose a smooth matte finish, so the marble will be wonderful to touch, yet will hold shadows. Highly polished stone reflects light and shadows are lost. Michelle, Kitty, Nick and I collaborated on a location for the sculpture in the Garden and we will prepare for its installation. The torso will face the morning and as the sun crosses the sky, the various details of the figure will be revealed through changing shadow. We will mount it on a conical shaped base about one foot high.
I have been working on the second sculpture in January. The genesis of this sculpture is strange. Before arriving to the residency, I thought I had secured a commission for a tall abstract sculpture that I proposed to carve here in Spain and deliver to London, England. All was well at the beginning of December, so I agreed to split the residency white marble block and buy the half I would need for the abstract. Unfortunately, the project collapsed, but Nick and I had already spilt the block. That meant two long, narrow pieces. Kitty loves horses, so she asked if I would propose a concept that included this animal. I proposed two options for one of the white marble blocks and Kitty chose my horizontal idea. The concept was the front end of a horse, seeming to be galloping out of the end of the block and its mane would become the surface of a wavy sea down the length of the block.
I began working on the piece on the last day of 2018. As I was working, I noticed a curved gouge down the length of the side of the block, left by a quarry excavator. I read it as the edge of a breaking wave, crashing on a beach. As Kitty and Nick had not returned from holiday, I took a chance and changed the water portion. Thankfully, both loved the result when they saw it. I’ve even carved the inside of the wave thin enough to let light through the marble. Again, we all collaborated on a location for this sculpture. The back of this 6.5 foot long sculpture will face south, so for most of the day, the sun will make the inside of the wave glow. Again, I’ve chosen a matte finish for the horse and a myriad of textures for the wave.
The pedestal for the horse is complete and ready to receive the sculpture. We are hoping to install both sculptures soon….