Casting sculpture requires being prepared for anything and the courage to have a go. This can lead to some interesting discussions in the workshop as the team brings their ideas and experience to the project. One such debate was taking place one morning when I arrived at the foundry.
Our most recent project had just arrived, been unpacked and now stood assembled in the mould room. At first glance the object appeared to be a bundle of clothes. A closer look showed this to be true. This, however, was no ordinary bundle. This one had been created with care. Precisely tied together with carefully selected cord, criss-crossed to form diamond shaped netting. The shirt sleeves and collars which hung from the bundle were there by design. It was a sculpture by Swedish artist Linn Grandlund and we were to cast it in aluminium. www.linngranlund.com
Similar moments would arise as the project evolved and I enjoyed following its progress as technical challenges were overcome. A couple of weeks later with mould and wax made, the artist arrived at the foundry to work with the team, preparing her wax for casting. She visited again to see the different stages of the process. From her home in Copenhagen, Linn travelled a long way to our small village in Wales.
She tells us about her work, the project and her time spent with us.
“I really loved staying in Wales and Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant. The nature surrounding the town was amazing and I felt so welcome by everyone at the foundry. You have a great team in Llanrhaeadr. They put a lot of effort into their work and are not afraid to take on difficult challenges.
I found the foundry through Laura Ford’s works. Many of her sculptures consist of small figures in fabric-garments, fully cast in bronze. Many of them have been produced at the foundry. That was how I decided that I wanted to work with Castle Fine Arts, since I knew that my sculptures process was quite complex, with metal looking like fabric.
The sculpture was something I started developing as a public sculpture proposal for a city in Sweden. Generally in my work with sculpture, I re-contextualize objects and materials by moving them to new locations and constellations. That can often generate one or many new entrances to the objects and open up for curious reflections on how they are used, valued or understood.
In this work, which consists of shirts in a bundle on top of four branches, I have brought together objects from civilization and nature, into one aluminium cast hybrid. The sculpture resembles a character, both shaped by civilization and nature.
The title of the work is Hulda (Trädhybrid). Hulda is a traditional female name in Sweden and Trädhybrid means tree-hybrid. Shirts as objects and nature in different forms, are often repeating elements in my work.
Peter Lennby, who is the founder and heart of the Sculpture Park Pilane, came across a model of the sculpture and asked me if I wanted to develop the work further for this year’s exhibition. Pilane is a Sculpture Park in Sweden that produces a new exhibition every summer. This year’s participants are Bernar Venet, Katrine Helmersson, Erwin Wurm, Lotta Hannerz, Tony Cragg, Maria Miesenberger, Greger Ståhlgren, Laura Ford and me. Therefore it was not a tough decision to say yes and develop the work for Pilane 2015! The park is a beautiful setting and an amazing context to show my work. I’m really happy to be a part of it”. www.pilane.org
Photo at Sculpture Park Pilane by Peter Lennby