Solid vision

There is a 3D computer programme called Google SketchUp, a basic drawing and modelling tool for architects. A sculpture of mine, already built, and open and spatial in nature, was re-modelled in this programme, which allows you to move freely around, through, over and under the object. Viewing it, I was reminded of a video shown to me by an Israeli sculptor of an underwater sculpture he’d made and installed in, I think, the Red Sea. Divers viewing it were able to put themselves wherever they wanted in relation to it – around, above, below. I think viewing a sculpture can be like that in the mind – one view triggers other views, even ones you can’t actually get to see. And possibly this aspect of the spatial imagination, which sculpture can concentrate in a special way, has to do with our ‘watery’ beginnings in the womb. A baby can feel at ease underwater, and perhaps we retain a desire for immersion, or fear of it, from such buried memories. So SketchUp, as an alternative to the photograph, not only represents the sculpture in depth, albeit graphically, but might also draw out a connection with ‘watery’ origins that sculpture makes through substance.

Charles Hewlings

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