Updated: Dec 27, 2022
At the dawn of time, sculpting began as an art form that contributed to the creation of statues of religious and political figures, funerary items or decorative pieces. However, sculpting went through evolution over time as artists began questioning the status quo. From Greeks questioning still figures that led to realism to Degas creating mixed media sculptures and Constantin Brâncuși who inspired contemporary sculpting. Trendsetting sculptors have defied critics over time which has led to the present era of abstract art.
As abstract sculpting began taking unique forms over the years, it is expected that we will soon be entering a new era of art. To highlight the change, Artiste Culture collaborated with five sculptors from all around the world who are shaping the future of sculpting.
1. Angelika Ziegler, Ditzingen, Germany
Formerly a sportsperson who emphasised balance, Angelika Ziegler, a Germany-based sculptor applied the same aesthetic principle to her sculptures. Inspired by her athletic background and the works of Gerhard Helmers, she moulds materials like serpentine, soapstone and alabaster to sculpt concave shapes that alternate fluently with convex shapes. The sculptor applies mathematical and aesthetic aspects to train the stone to appear light and stay balanced on a specifically subtle point. There is an illusion of spontaneity in her work, yet a disciplined approach to it which adds to the fluidity of the sculpture. Angelika sets her sculptures in motion leaving them in a semblance of continuous flow.
2. Benoît Averly, Burgundy, France
French Sculptor Benoît Averly fostered his creativity as a child and growing up on a farm inspired his career in woodturning. Further inspired by his love for architecture and photography, Benoît gradually began sculpting abstract creative pieces with a blend of aesthetics that sought tranquillity, stillness and space. The sculptor calls his process intense due to his thoughts inspiring the creation of intricate details and textures in uniformity. While he carves pieces of wood into aesthetic wonders, he also loves to work with large surfaces that allow him the space to create murals on walls with one or several textures and details. Benoît works please the eyes of viewers although they do not aim to communicate anything, they exist in space to be blended and admired.
3. Mary Oros, California, USA
From creating 3D works in a sandbox as a young girl to making her way into sculpting, American sculptor Mary Oros’ talents lay in the creation of three-dimensional forms. Inspired by her love for free-form dancing styles, the sculptor choreographs concrete over a metal armature into untamed and lively sculptures set in a fluid motion. Mary’s process involves coating and packing armature with concrete, a recipe suggested by an engineer, which provides her works with flexural strength as each element synchronises with the other.
The works of the sculptor act as an aesthetic clash of rigidity and fluidity, as she creates intricately fluid works from rigid materials to convey a sense of respite, joy, and serenity that is rightfully communicated to her viewers.
4. Eelke Van Willegen, Brielle, Netherlands
Netherlands-based teacher and sculptor Eelke Van Willegen began his creative journey as a graphic design student, however, his aversion toward the idea of spending hours behind a computer screen led him to the field of sculpting.
The sculptor's fascination with Chinese and Japanese calligraphy with thick and thin lines inspired him to translate them into three-dimensional figures by incorporating their appearance. His sculptures draw inspiration from surfing and the waves of the sea that pursue an abstract form in his works. Eelke believes that waves are a beautiful metaphor for life as they depict the highs and lows we experience. He tries to find this meaning in his process as he creates works resembling waves in different styles of motion. From depicting its aggravating strength to calming stillness in vibrant colours, Eelke’s works communicate his simple yet deep perspective on life.
5. Sinead McInerney, Dublin, Ireland
With a flair for creativity, Irish sculptor Sinead McInerney was initially introduced to ceramics, however as a college student, she gravitated toward metal work which carved her path as a metal sculptor. Her theme of work was inspired by her visit to an airport where she noticed an area full of aeronautical parts and engines which left her in awe of the technological progress brought about by humans.
Sinead began sculpting mid-sized technological inventions from metal to express her appreciation for innovation. She designs satellites, aircraft and seacrafts with inlaid ornamental designs and decorates them with floral elements that are motivated by her imagination. Sinead's sculptures also embrace metallic colours during the process which gives them a rustic and ancient appearance.
Her works communicate how new inventions faced rejection but have now become a prominent part of life. Sinead aims to highlight man's achievements which are often overlooked in a constantly changing world.
From celebrating man’s primary achievements and blending with an aesthetic or communicating the theory of life to portraying balance through calculations or generating inspiration through dance, each sculptor has uniquely conveyed themselves. It depicts how inspiration can be drawn from something seemingly insignificant to something unprecedented which inspires and guides aspiring artists