The Review

Awards, Public Art

Wednesday 30th October saw the opening of the FIRST@108 public art award , the commission for the external piece for 108 Brompton Road and exhibition. The evening was crisp cold but dry, perfect for viewing the outside sculpture in the forecourt of the Royal British Sculptor Society. The lighting illuminated ‘Evolution’ gloriously, the stripes of the central piece mirroring the external pillars and the minimalistic shapes appearing like a city skyline. The vibrant sculpture intrigued the passer-by along with our large group congregating unintentionally outside as we waited for the doors to officially open and enter into the colourful land of the Shendi sculptures inside.

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‘Evolution’ at night

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Illuminated outside RBS

As we entered drinks and brochures were laid out before entering into the exhibition room. The pieces, so bright and cheerful gave an energy to the inside space, ‘Souls’ perfectly positioned in front of each of the leaded glass windows.

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‘Souls’ in the windows

‘The Branch’ stood with the bird perched on foot with high quality shine and the elegant neck of the horse held a gracious curve glancing down at the floor to which we could find the piece entitled ‘Cruelty’ nestled in the fireplace. With sad eyes but strong sentiments and chained to its heavy load, almost floating above which hung the original sketch with figurative notations. On the wall opposite the entrance also hung three framed sketches adding another dimension to the work. As the room gradually filled so that the work only peeped out between the people, there was then an eloquent speech by the president of the society followed by a witty and intelligent introduction to the award by Isabel Vasseur who in the brochure had written;

 “The choice of Sam Shendi this year, an artist constantly interested in placing work in the public domain, is timely, working as he does with the idea of engaging in a tangible dialogue with the onlooker. His sculpture ‘Evolution’ imparts a notion that each elemental figure has its own concerns which it wants to convey to others. a joyfully coloured abstraction of human figures which, with the subtlest of indicators, hints at the complexity of human interactions. Today’s passers-by are likely to respond to the many layers of this work in the same wa as their forbears recognised the multiplicity of meanings in the Price Albert memorial only a moment’s walk away from Shendi’s brave work.”

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‘The Branch’ and ‘The Ride’

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The speeches

The success of the opening marks the start of hopefully good things to come. With an impending visits and intriguing activities for children from local schools. Discussions with other venues for a second home for ‘Evolution’ after it’s three-month stint in south Kensington, potential sales and a step into the public art world.

Evolved

Awards, Colour, Exhibitions, Steel

Earlier in the year, in March we found out my husband had won the Public Art Award, FIRST@108, then began the process of making the maquette a reality from a scale of 1:6. Finally right on time, the photo was taken and sent for the publicity at the end of August. This impressive piece will be installed outside The Royal British Sculptor Society in anticipation of the private view on October 30th 6.30pm. We now need to arrange a trip down to London for the event.

The piece is a reminder about how we evolve through our lifespan from infancy to ultimately death and how the energy within us changes us physically. Each minimal figure represents a time span and the colour symbolises that. The subject given for the competition was ‘Transmission’ and this large-scale now looks like a transmission wave, representing the mysterious transmission within us that we either acknowledge, abuse, neglect or take for granted. Still to be polished, transported and placed in situ, it has a journey to go but it has come along way from the start, as an idea in a sketch book long ago to a maquette on our kitchen table. Now evolved into a piece of public art.

The FIRST@108 Public Art Award 2013 Winner’s Exhibition at the Royal British Society of Sculptors runs from 31 October 2013

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Evolution 5Evolution 4
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‘Evolution’ is evolving

Making, Philosophy, Soul searching, Steel

This morning the wet damp clouds hung heavy over the hills here in Yorkshire, creating an almost hazy fog interrupted with lush green trees popping through the grey like thought bubbles. Made me think of my husband’s mind! The sun broke out this afternoon and turned into a lovely summer solstice, and the sundown will be around 9.30ish here. It’s amazing how the longer days really shift the rhythm internally and externally.

I am very much ‘The Sculptor’s wife’ at the moment, as the sculptures for the solo exhibition and the large-scale sculpture which will go outside the Royal British Society of Sculptors are all in various stages of progress, and taking up my Husband’s time. The lighter evenings giving an extra momentous for working in the studio.

‘The base complete with holes’

The ‘Evolution’ piece has now been welded and has been moved to the studio. Where they congregated like a family;

evolution waiting in the studio

‘Evolution’ waiting in the studio

The surface is polished and smoothed before the painting, at least he is wearing gloves this time!

preparing fro spray

preparing the surface for spraying

The first to be sprayed was the fist stage in the series of ‘transmission’ the infant. Tonight, my husband has got back from painting the last in the series death’. When he came in he immediately starting telling me that the results had been announced for The Cork Street Gallery summer exhibition, shaking his head and looking all disappointed.I tried to quickly remember what this was all about and he told me the pieces and then said “when I scrolled down to ‘S’ these were the three pieces they had chosen! (I think we entered 6) So it was exciting to find out we have been shortlisted, but now some more form filling and delivery of works and the process starts again.

We often want to see the end product of something, get to our destination, get the result, but most often it is the journey, the process, the ‘evolution’ and evolving of ourselves through the process that is the most important thing.

First to be sprayed – infant

Curious and Curiouser

Colour, Conceptual, Connections, Exhibitions, Galleries

‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English. I get away with not speaking good English, living with an Egyptian I don’t worry about being corrected and sometimes I wonder if we haven’t gone and created our own language. Along with spending my days understanding toddler speak I am heading down a slippery slope. A bit like Alice! My connection with Alice is that one of my husband’s courting lines to me was, “why don’t you see how deep the rabbit hole goes”! Well I am well and truly wandering in the warren.

Curiously, Curious George is the favourite cartoon my boys watch at the moment and this week the exhibition opens at ‘Curious Duke‘. This piece is one of five pieces on show in the exhibition ‘Young masters’ running from February 7th to March 7th at 207 Whitecross Street, London.

'Sperm'

‘Sperm’

Curiosity (from Latin curious “careful, diligent, curious,”) is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning. I think my husbands approach to his art, is just that. It is an exploration and an investigation into human behaviour. He certainly makes pieces which are indeed curious. This piece was made last year and I realised I hadn’t given it a showcase in my blog but this week it will be having its first exhibition. My husband said he could have used this for his ‘Transmission’ theme. That may have raised a few eyebrows.

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‘Sperm’

Housed in Curious Duke Gallery a 400 year old subterranean space on Whitecross Street in Islington. “One of the most welcoming and unique gallery spaces you will ever encounter.” You can read more about it at ‘Made in Shoreditch’ Magazine. So, if you are around in London over the next month pop in if you are curious.

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‘Sperm’

Transmission

Colour, Making, Public Art, Soul searching, Steel

Finally after several months of making and writing I can publicise the maquette for the FIRST@108 PUBLIC ART AWARD under the theme of transmission. Last night saw the preview and opening of a three-month exhibition for the five finalist. This is my husband’s piece titled; ‘Evolution’

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‘Evolution’

Description of concept

This sculpture is under the name of ‘Evolution’, showing the development of the changes to our body caused by the powerful effect of life’s energy transmission inside us. My idea is presented by 7 individual sculptures, each piece representing a minimalistic shape of the human figure in seven different stages of life.

Each piece is represented in an individual shape, height and colour, enabling the viewer to separate every stage but still seeing the whole concept as one piece. As though it is a single wave depicting the energy within us, a wave of transmission.

The individual stages show the physically changes our body goes through in order to maintain or contain this energy. The 7 stages are: Infancy, Childhood, Teenage years, Adulthood, Maturity, Elderly and Death. These constructions will be made from steel, and by using high gloss colours makes the sculpture appear weightless but remains strong to withstand the elements.

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‘Sketch of idea’

This sculpture will have a minimalistic contemporary and an architectural appeal to connect with the viewer and allow them to see the message behind the concept. It has a child friendly appeal to encourage appreciation from a wide range of viewers.

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‘image from last night’s preview’

This transmission within us doesn’t see culture, ethnicity, education, religion or any difference between us. It is within us regardless and we all share this mysterious transmission that is able to change us in a short period of time. Some of us are unaware of it; some of us take it for granted, some of us neglect it. This piece shows how powerful the energy which is transmitted through our life is and that our similarities are more inspiring than our differences.

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‘My husband at the Preview’

For more pictures of the evening take a look at  Sam Shendi Sculptor . Now we have to wait until March For the interview and to find out who wins the prize of making the maquette in full-scale for the forecourt at The Royal British Sculpture Society and a solo exhibition.  Of course I am totally biased in believing my husband should win but his idea is inspiring and I believe art should be inspirational. There is a deep message behind the work yet it is playful and appealing. Our eldest son understands it, loves it and people of all ages want to know to think which stage they are in. Yet beyond all that is the mysterious transmission itself. The energy that keeps us living.