I have been asked to produce quite a few sculptures for display in the public domain over the years.
This is another area of my work that I enjoy and have quite strong feelings about.
So often sculpture for public spaces is commissioned and installed with no regard for the people who it is addressed at. Leading to it being undervalued neglected and frequently vandalised
I feel it is important for this type of work to be accepted by the community and for them to have some input into the work itself. A good way to do this is to involve local groups or schools at the design stage.
This helps with community ownership and can help mitigate 'environmental factors' such as bored teenagers up to no good.
In 2018 I was asked to make a pair of giant reindeer for Santa's float in Swansea's well known Christmas Carnival. These were 4.5m long each and had to be made to a very tight lead time after the organisers were let down at short notice. We came up with a simple and strong open frame work design thinking of dealing with winds and the fact that they were going spend most of their lives in storage. They were galvanized both for durability and to give a suitably christmassy appearance.
They proved to be a huge hit with the public as they cruised around the city centre
Here are two photos from a project I produced for the Warwickshire Wildlife Conservation Trust. They were looking for a collection of works to install on a pondside walk.
I suggested getting local schools to help at the design stage. We finished with a collection including a large screen depicting Lady Godiva as a bit of local history and some drawings of pondlife; all of the artwork is as it came from the schools.
There was also a life sized man sat on a bench feeding the birds, based on a local gentleman who was often seen by the pond, this makes for a nice functional piece of artwork.
A couple of years later I was asked to produce a package of sculptures based on the works of LS Lowry for a primary school in Manchester.
I pointed out that Lowry painted pictures of contemporary street life and asked if the school children could come up with designs based on everyday modern life for me rather than me just copying the paintings.
This was a fun job for all of us, subject matter included 'Kid on a skateboard', 'Old lady with her shopping' 'Angry man with naughty dog' 'selfie taking girl' and a host of others.
I made these as simply as I could using heavy gauge steel bars. This enabled me to make a large collection of work and keep well within budget.
Below are three photos showing some of the collection
As part of both projects I hosted visits from the schools involved. A chance for the pupils to see that art is made by real people; to see it being made and to appreciate that ordinary people make 'art' using real industrial processes
More recently I was asked to make a large sign for the start of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
I suggested making the sign to frame the elements of the landscape, to give it a sense of place and involvement in the site rather just being imposed on the landscape.
This worked out perfectly and is something I would love to explore further.
An idea that would work well for National Parks and other public spaces
This details some of the public commissions I have produced over the years. I am always happy to discuss potential projects