"Growth" 2011 Stradbally Library & Arthouse Studios, Co Laois

"Growth" 2011

Stradbally Library & Arthouse Studios, Co Laois. Laser cut 3mm stainless steel float mounted 0.5cm on courtyard wall. 6m x 2.7m (approx 19.7' x 8.9')

This artwork presents a large, eye-catching contemporary sculpture for the garden space of the Arthouse Artists Studios. Of primary concern is that the artwork will be a source of daily inspiration to the artists using the studios.

With this in mind I created an artwork which acts like a Rorschach inkblot. The positive and negative shapes of the artwork, the changing light and colours on the polished metallic surfaces will allow the artists and other visitors to free their imaginations and to see what they will in the artwork.

Taking the idea of growth for inspiration, this artwork began as a series of swirling natural forms, like vines on a wall. The repeating forms create patterns and reflections, to show motion, to suggest the process of life. Taking this theme further, a composition was developed which flows into an organic growth, a curling pattern that is self-similar and is based on a classic "dragon fractal", a swirling form in contrast with the linear structures of the architecture of the building, yet still very mathematical itself. This brings natural forms into the modern structure, which will be complimented by the action of people moving through the space. It provides a pleasing contrast to the geometric forms of the architecture.

The large-scale artwork reflects the changing light during the day, brightening shadowy spaces and further extending the 'abstract' pattern of this design. With the evening indoor lights reflecting onto the artwork, it will continue to shine at night and during the winter months.

This opportunity has been very important to my practice as a sculptor. I have been challenged and engaged by other site-specific opportunities in the past, but opportunities such as this providing the freedom to realise large-scale ideas are few and far between.

Image Details

  • "Growth" on courtyard wall
  • Opposite view
  • View of courtyard with gallery
  • Local performance group give a sense of scale