mechanical fossil commission for 7 bridges project

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stage 1 of the 7 bridges commission is now complete…

The 7 Bridges project is an urban regeneration project in South London, really close to where i grew up. I was really happy therefore when i was one of the artists selected and commissioned to produce a piece for a series of new public artworks to be attached to the Cambrian Bridge.

Taking inspiration from the ‘Cambrian Explosion’, the period in geological time when living things can first be observed in the layers of fossils, the artists were asked to create new and fantastical fossil forms, in any media. i am creating a piece that is in many ways quite a realistic fossil – skeletal forms emerging from a base of clay – but the difference is that these skeletons are made up of mechanical and metallic found objects. i imagine this almost to be like ‘future fossil’ – if a fossil were found in the future of a creature that had been alive now, i think its skeleton would be the insides of a machine or made of industrial waste. I love these kinds of materials and use them frequently, so this is what gave rise to the idea.

so the piece has been constructed from all sorts of things i hoard in my workshop, you can probably identify cogs, tubes, hooks, brackets and tools, but look carefully and you will also see keys, gun shells, tops of tin cans and even a loo handle! the clay panel has then be smoothed and formed to sculpt these pieces in and together and bring the whole thing to life.

i like to call these creatures ‘scraposaurus’ or ‘mechanomite’.

next stage – using this to make a cast relief panel: watch this space for a part II post

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