After toiling away for seemingly ages on what was to be my "winter project" I have finally come up for air to find that it is actually, finally, spring! Where has the time gone? Regardless, now that the project has finally concluded, I am pleased to share my newest creation with all of you.
The design for this work touches on a lot of themes I have visited over the years. It is a retrospective sculpture in a lot of ways as it is chock full of technically challenging elements from nearly every period in my artistic development.
I have talked a lot about the offset turning methods I have been using lately and there are plenty of examples of that process in this composition. However if you look closely, you should be able to link many additional elements from this piece to dozens of works from the span of my 15 year exploration of machine work.
There is a bit more of a creature feeling to this sculpture as well, something I commonly eschew because my primary focus is not to create illusion in my work, but to explore a medium wherever it may lead. For this piece, a certain amount of biomorphism was allowed to happen as it arose quite organically out of the complexity of the design.
After all, life arises from the combined complexity of simpler processes, so why shouldn't life like characteristics emerge from geometric machine processes and sculpture. It was a bottom up quality rather than top down one, so it made sense to me to push forward with it in a mindful way.
I welcome the comparisons this biological quality will draw. I think there are some obvious ones, but I am always surprised at some of the connections people make so I look forward to hearing them.
At over three feet across and well over one hundred pounds, this is quite a substantial piece. It is designed to be either wall mounted or pedestal mounted. While the baseplates are designed for it, I have yet to fully work out the best way to safely support and position this thing to mount it on the wall. A custom brace, or perhaps a large panel, is in order for a site specific instal (I have some ideas to test).
On the drawing front, I took some new creative liberties with the technical print as well. Many of you know I originally started making my drawings as genuine blueprints on an old blueprint machine I had restored. From there I transitioned to a less constrained way of making drawings using modern digital drafting tools to make images that took on a greyscale style. I found there were interesting elements in both ways of producing technical drawings.
I have also seen others attempt to make faux blueprints, using digital drawing techniques to make images that look like traditional blueprints. And while I can appreciated the homage in this kind of reproduction, I think there is a missed opportunity to build on a traditional style.
So this is sort of my reaction to all that, a mash up of the two ways I have produced technical drawings. I am calling it "Black and Blueprint".
There are a lot of great details in this work, but all of the compositional movement eventually brings your eye to, and then through, the center.
The exact dimensions on this work are 37"x26"x14"
A context shot to try and illustrate the scale. Currently this work is a very imposing guest in my small office gallery.
On the Process front: There is just way too much to cover, so I think it is a good time to recommend to those of you who are most interested in the process aspect of my work, to start following my instagram account if you aren't already.
My handle is c_bathgate
As the complexity of these projects grow, I am starting to feel that I can't do justice to all of the interesting details in the build in such a short blog post. But luckily, my Instagram account has grown into a highly detailed technical account of my practice. There, a large portion of my audience is other machinists, and so I feel more comfortable talking to everyone in a tone and manner that is much more technical. There I can be more candid about process issues, ideas, and just generally go a little deeper without feeling like I am alienating anyone. So check it out if you are inclined.
And, as always, comments and questions are welcome.