A Year in the Making

Alexander of the second wave

Alexander of the second wave

What do you do if you are an artist and you are made to stay at home for a year?

Well, you produce art. And in my case, I’ve done so to such an extent, that the shed where I keep my finished works now resembles a crowd scene from a future dystopian world where random everyday objects have grouped together to start new lives of their own, and social distancing is strictly for the “Organics”.

Meanwhile, back in the real world. What is it that I have been making? I hear you ask.
My inspiration lately seems to be coming from the Classical world.

During the first lockdown, I created, from recycled milk bottles (one of my favourite materials) a life-size replica of a famous Michelangelo statue. When I say life-size, I mean the size of a person. Not the size of the original work.

I am keeping this one under wraps for the moment though. I don’t want to lessen the “Shock and Awe” value when it is finally unveiled at an exhibition.

All I can say is, it is surprising how much, from a distance, plastic milk bottles look like Carrara marble.

I have always been interested in Kinetic art. So, the next work that I produced, you may well have already seen. The mechanical Minatour called “Spode” (as in Spode china. You know? Bull in a china shop?) Anyway. The challenge with this one, was not constructing it, but in making the video that followed. Spode does not actually move on his own, but with the wonders of stop-go animation he can be made to look that way. I did this using 300 separate still photographs to make the short film. The real task was synchronising the motion to the music. It kept me amused for many a long evening.

Finally, we come to my latest labour of love. I say that because I have spent more time producing this than anything else so far.
This one is entitled “Alexander of the second wave” (pictured)
I’m back on the recycled plastic here. Shampoo bottles, yoghurt pots, detergent boxes, whatever I could lay my hands on basically.
This is my re-creation of the mosaic of Alexander the Great that was un-earthed at Pompei. I am amazed at the level of detail in the original, considering it was made 2,000 years ago from tiny pieces of coloured stone. Apparently, they used a palette of 27 colours, compared to my measly 17. “Much respect. Romans”
Wouldn’t it be nice to think that in 2,000 years time someone might dig up one of our works of art, and try to copy it?
Oh, by the way. The second wave bit of the title is because I made it during the second wave of the pandemic.

Talking of which, being of mature years, I have had the jab now, and am feeling ready to face the world again.

And as for the shed full of “Non-Organics” Well, they seem to be multiplying of their own accord, and are now bursting out into the garden.
Only an exhibition can save us now.

Tom Sharp