I can reveal a secret:
It has been an intense 8 months, as I have been working on a new sculpture. It has been an immense task, far bigger than any other previous work.
The sculpture is called “The Cosmic Blacksmith “ and is a representation of human struggle, perseverance and liberation.
It will be shown at Sculpture by The Sea [ Cottesloe]. The exhibition starts on friday the 3rd of March and runs until the 19th.
Me and my team have been working flat out to race to the finish line and I am relieved and happy to say: it is finished and looks amazing. A few days ago we set the final piece in position and stood back.
For the first time we were able to see the whole sculpture upright and complete. 700kg of bronze and recycled jarrah looked back at us.
It was an anxious moment.
We eyed each other in silence for a bit.
I was stunned. It was a great moment. The beer tasted good that day!
I hope you will love it as much as I do.
So please come around and see it. I will be there most days so say hello if you like.
Russya Connor, the model and project manager for The Cosmic Blacksmith
In May I literally ran off with the circus for a month! I toured the Gascoyne Region of WA as part of the Gascoyne in May Festival which was a series of regional events in both city and remote areas. I travelled with a gorgeous troupe of musicians, puppeteers, animatronic artists and circus performers! I was the sculptor and brought a travelling exhibition with me which was set up next to the sea at each regional event. We were focused very much on local community and I had fun teaching regional groups fire sculpture. We spent many magical nights working on sculpture together. At each event what they had made was burnt as the musicians played and the circus flew over our heads and spun fire. It is hard to explain just how moving it was. I was given a fire cannon to play with too and it was bliss! nice!
Earlier in the year, I was part of the inaugural Blazing Swan Festival, the regional Burning Man Festival [Nevada] for Western Australia! At last we have bought Burning Man to the West! I was part of the build team for the massive 16m high swan sculpture [left] which was the main “effigy” ie the focal point and it took some serious engineering. My specific areas were the eyes and head. I made the eyes which where translucent with integral lighting and helped to sculpt the head. It was very much a group effort but we were less than 10 in all: what a great team! We transformed it into a Phoenix… burn you beautiful bird, burn ya!
As it was burnt to the ground at the climax of the event, fire perfomers put on an amazing show all around it. This burning ceremony has become a traditional part of Burning Man since it started many years ago.
The EXCITING news now is that in 2015 I will be the feature artist for the effigy, so at this moment I am producing clays to get a final macquette so I can talk to the engineers and get the ball rolling. It’s going to be Western Australia’s BIGGEST EVER figurative sculpture! Details are a secret for now, but I can promise you it will be really breathtaking!!
You can see more pics from the event in the Sculpture Gallery.