Ingot Prize

In 2015, I was fortunate to be awarded ‘The Ingot Prize’ by London Bronze Casting. (They now run a ‘Bronze Fellowship Scheme’ instead.) The joint prize winners, myself and Harry Fletcher & Jim, had our winning sculptures cast in bronze, by the London Bronze Company (LBC). The sculptures were exhibited, in July 2016, at Bowman Sculpture, 6 Duke Street, St James, London.

Link to London Bronze Casting,

http://www.londonbronzecasting.com/ingot-prize/4588419502

Power & Grace (Gym Rings) detail for Marcus from email

Power & Grace (Gym Rings), detail (above)

bronze, black granite

157cm x 20cm x 20cm

Exhibited at Bowman Sculpture, London 18th July-29th July 2016, (below) Power & Grace (gym rings) in Bowman Sculpture, during the exhibition. 


The Project


Becoming Boudicca

Laid Bare

Muscles becoming like steel

Leaner, power ratio high

Embodied body, curls, turns

Music drawing the frame

To move

Inside surges and takes flight

Power and grace becoming

Movement moving

Way back Boudicca fought

Ancestor calling

As fragments slowly shift

Faster than continental plates

With monumental effort and push

Moulding the incompleteness

Which diminishes

Still leaving shapes, gaps to intrigue

Through which the gold is glimpsed

As it shines, striving to break free.


The experimental focus of the sculpture making process, was to be able to make a body mould under tension.  Usually they are made with the model in repose.
  This presented certain challenges. 

Working with technicians, Tom & Derek from London Bronze Casting, and Tom Needham (sculptor), we firstly, made a wrist and hand mould holding a gym ring, as a trial run. We wanted to see how the process worked and to take a look at how the mould looked in terms of detail.

Alginate was applied, then Mud Rock. Once it had set the mould was cut off using a metal blade. I had explored the properties of the alginate, and once it was applied I needed to watch for colour change from pink to white and to feel on the skin for a particular alteration in the consistency of the alginate. Once the right sensation was there I introduced tension to the pose. Intense training in the gym had enabled me to hold the tension for long enough. A wax mould was then made.

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Wax meets flesh, the resulting trial, wax mould (above).

Once we had tried the process and seen that the tension registered well, the work began on the larger, body mould for the sculpture. Having trained hard to be able to hold tension for over three minutes, using weight to intensify the strength build up, we discovered this provided an ample length of time for the alginate to go off.

The process for the final body mould, from starting to apply the alginate, gradually covering the required area bit by bit, to cutting me free of the mould, took around an hour. This was longer than we had expected.   It had turned into an act of real physical endurance. Endurance became fused into the moulds through the process…

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The wax mould inside the body cast (detail)

The idea was to represent an empowered, female form. The original idea had been to make several moulds of different sections of the body and to suspend these in a loop, floor to ceiling, entitled ‘To make Ends Meet’. Partly a comment on the way women often use their bodies to earn a living, as well as, involving a literal, physical stretch, to make ends meet.

I took these ideas, working with LBC, & taking into account the size of the space which was available at Bowman Sculpture, I developed the idea of the final Power and Grace (gym rings) sculpture.

This was beautifully and carefully cast by London Bronze Casting. Bowman Sculpture is a fabulous gallery on Duke St, St James, London.  And the Ingot Prize winners 2015 had the privilege of exhibiting our winning bronzes, alongside an exhibition of Rodin sculptures called Nude, in 2016.

My heartfelt thanks go to all at London Bronze Company for casting a beautiful, striking bronze, and Bowman Sculpture for the wonderful opportunity and experience of exhibiting at this prestigious gallery.

See also a blog link…

https://alijmcfadden.wordpress.com/body-sculpture/