South East Galvanizers has teamed up with an acclaimed artist to help bring ‘energy and life’ to a tonne of scrap steelwork.
The Witham-based plant has galvanized steel used by abstract sculptor Julian Wild to create ‘Totem’ and ‘Revival’, two works in his 17-piece outdoor exhibition Incomplete Systems, which is currently on display in the gardens of Burghley House in Lincolnshire.
‘Totem’ comprises a 4.5 metre-high tower of I-beams which appear to balance on top of each other like a giant version of the game Jenga, while ‘Revival’ has been produced from scrap metal collected from the farms located on the Burghley Estate.
“I’ve always thought galvanizing is both a utilitarian and a functional process,” Julian Wild, who has had previous works commissioned by the Saatchi Gallery, Radley College, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, amongst others, explained. “On a functional level, it obviously helps to protect the steelwork against rust and corrosion, but it also produces a beautiful finish due to the variations it leaves behind on the surface.”
Julian, who was shortlisted for the prestigious Jerwood Award in 2005, and is currently the recipient of the Kensington and Chelsea Arts Club Trust Studio Bursary Award, continued: “With ‘Revival’, because many pieces of agricultural equipment, such as gates, fences and railings, are originally galvanized, I felt it was an appropriate finish to bring energy and life to the discarded elements and complete the final piece’s overall revival. And as ‘Totem’ initially appears to look like a pile of off-cuts from a building site, I decided that galvanizing the steel gave the piece a greater sense of importance, almost as if it was trying to better itself.”
Neil Pearson, Commercial Manager of South East Galvanizers, commented: “This has been quite an unusual project for us to be involved with, but a thoroughly enjoyable one. We’ve worked very closely with Julian from the initial concept, and have been able to advise him on how to make sure each of the completed works was coated evenly. Anyone who has seen the end result can’t help but be impressed, the pieces are certainly eye-catching.”
Incomplete Systems is Julian Wild’s first solo outdoor exhibition, comprising a series of 17 abstract sculptures based on the concept of counterbalancing transparent structures with singular geometries. It has been curated by Michael Shaw, funded by the Arts Council and the Burghley House Preservation Trust, and is set to be on display in the stately home’s gardens until the end of October.