The Rise sculptures are a series of works that have grown out of my interest in how matter and energy move and the laws of physics which govern our understanding of the world. Their repeated curves, ascending from the earth towards space, echo the forms of waves of pure energy. They can be seen as sound waves, electromagnetic or heat waves, or communication waves through water or air.
The sculptures are systemised into regular, ordered, graph-like rhythms, but the uneven finish of the hand carving means they retain a sense of human fallibility. The whole sculpture rotates freely in strong wind — achieved by concealed bearings – meaning that the piece not only stands up to natural forces but also responds and adapts to them.
To me, red is the colour of energy, and so I enamelled the glass used for the sculpture’s skin with red pigments. Applied freely with a brush, the enamel is more intense in some areas than others and the textured surface is invigorated with scratched lines. The glass is cut into curves by hand, following the undulating waves of the form. This technique allows the flat shards of cut glass to wrap around a three-dimensional form, creating a faceted, light-reflecting surface.
Rise 4 is in a private collection, installed in a sculpture garden. As I researched the garden’s collection, I found parallels in techniques used by the iconic sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo, which informed my process for the construction of the work. Hepworth’s aluminium mesh system which she used to create works that were later cast in bronze led me to explore new types of stainless steel mesh. Naum Gabo’s interest in engineering processes and materials, and his radical use of transparent plastics, reinforced my own interest in innovative materials to express mass and incremental movement. The whole process is grounded in my research into a more sustainable practice, employing durable materials such as stainless steel, marble dust and glass.
The resulting form is strong but light and is constructed as efficiently as possible, with a desire to minimise waste, respect the environment and celebrate systems of the natural world.