Sunday, May 19, 2013

'Layers' at Elora

As I had mentioned in a previous post, I had been selected as one of ten artists to contribute to the 2013 Elora Scupture Project.

'Layers' 2010
I had created a smaller 'sample' version of the concept for the 2010 Styl 2 (Style Squared) exhibit. All the pieces in this series need to be wall hung and no more than 12 x 12 inches square. I had envisioned the piece actually being a major public art sculpture. In the range of 3 feet tall and 10 feet long. (The original smaller piece is now available as part of my submissions to the 2013 Styl 2 exhibit.)

I was of course (!) extremely pleased when a full sized version of 'Layers' was chosen for the summer long public exhibit of the Elora Sculpture Project.

'Layers' 2013
Artist's Description :

' Under our feet, often hidden, lay the layers of individual days, compressed by time into stone. Trapped within the layers lie elusive impression of past lives. Rushing waters sometimes expose these layers, allowing us to glimpse and attempt to interpret these often fragmented records - before weather and water erases them forever... '

'Layers' was originally inspired by images of weathered granite from eastern Georgian Bay, the ground down and exposed stubs of ancient mountains. The sculpture takes the form of a large panel, set tilted back on one edge. The panel is composed of a series of individual metal bars. Each is composed of differing metals, from antique wrought iron to modern stainless steel. All are hot forged in various ways, with additional surface textures and treatments added as well. These bars are left untreated, and intended to weather naturally as exposed to the elements, the differing metals and surfaces aging with differing rates and effects.
 In its full sized rendition, 'Layers' is roughly 4 x 4 feet. It has a mounting frame that holds it up off the ground about 18 inches, tilting the surface back slightly.

The work is 'on loan' for the duration of the Elora exhibit, all sculptures on public view until the Fall this year. It is for sale (with the understanding it would be delivered after the Elora showing).  Considering my original intention for a long narrow form, 'Layers' is composed of two individual panels. The edges are set, and the back mounting designed, so that the two could easily be mounted in either the current square, or the long narrow formats.

Detail - Upper section
Detail - lower section
The individual sections that make up each panel range in width, from 1 to as wide as four inches, with most at 2 inches wide. A wider range of physical forming techniques have been used in the full sculpture than is seen on the smaller original sample. A good number are textured flat bars, using various shaped forming tools under the air hammer. Several are braids of smaller diameter metal stock, which was then flattened. Polished stainless steel, solid stainless bars, applied bronze, galvanized sheet have all been used to create variations in surface colours as the sculpture naturally ages on exposure to the elements. The colour effects seen here on the 'fresh from the forge' surfaces are intended to shift with time.

Detail - text element (click to read)
 I wanted to include some indication of human history in the concept of ancient layers. After some consideration, I decided to use a version of my favourite stanza from the Viking Age Havamal (Sayings of the High One) :
Kinsmen die
Cattle die
You will die
One thing never dies
The reputation of the dead
I had considered using Nordic runes (even Old Norse!), but in the end decided to use simple rune like letters in standard English. This so the viewer could read the inscription. *

I was further pleased by the placement I had been given. There is a small green space right at the core intersection in the older section of Elora. (NW corner of Mill and Metcalfe). Five of the ten submitted sculptures are circled around this open and landscaped space. 'Layers' is placed close by the side walk that runs along the east side, in the upper corner of the space.

Placement - as seen from the pathway inside the park space.

* There is a bit of personal ego at work here. Given the durability of the materials and the nature of the work,  'Layers' most certainly will endure longer than I will. (!) The 'dead man's reputation' here might easily be my own...

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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