Across the Board and Two Other Sculptures part 2

Text by
Michael Pennie

by fits and starts
Heads or Lollipops

By Fits and Starts 2006: The plinths that were not required by Across the Board became the building blocks for the bronzes of By Fits and Starts. After the previous carefully considered sculpture, now bronzes were placed 'randomly', characters added to the 'stage' as they were made and fixed onto the wooden blocks that seemed to fit them, This sculpture was the outcome of bronze pourings carried out over several weeks by fits and starts. The twenty-two casts of By Fits and Starts have a natural finish, archaic, their colours are result of the composition of the metal, the heat of the pouring and the effect of wind, rain and sunshine.

These twenty-two bronzes include several clusters made around a particular subject. Most obvious are the Chillida bronzes, a mini hommage to Eduardo Chillida, there are those named as Post-MEADOWism sculptures, souvenirs of the MEADOW project and among others several South Coast works.

Cast in the same mould 2006/2007: This is a series of twenty-one bronzes, called either Heads or Lollipops. They are variations that originate with the very first bronze cast in 2004 at Shute Farm, partly taken from a mould made around a carved wooden sphere, an elegant transition from wood carving to bronze casting! Once again each bronze is unique, individually assembled as a wax and substantially different from all the others; each neck and foot are poles apart.

David Smith's assertion that at one time all sculptures were painted, encouraged me to use oil paint on this group, all were tested with various colours but as usual white, with exception of 3 lollipop colours, seemed to me the best scheme. Twentieth century painted bronzes are not unusual and I suspect that Miro and Picasso might have been as impatient with the traditional patinating process as I am and, on occasion, resorted to using oil paint to colour their bronzes,

I intended displaying the Heads or Lollipops in pigeonholes, but that seemed too confining. Next idea was a circular table, as on an island, but that was too large and too flat, the third was the ladder configuration, vertical rather than horizontal, open and aspirational and the most practical to allow the bronzes to be in groups of three.

The notion of conglomeration, an idea that links the 3 works, may spring from the powerfUl groupings of dissimilar elements that I have seen in shrines in Ghana and Burkina Faso, and advance the notion that, however disparate things may be, acting together can be the most effective.