Cross your fingers for me. Next year could be an extraordinary year for my sculpting career. But there are no guarantees when it comes to commissions.
Working on public art commissions can be demanding and frustrating. Many hours are invested upfront without any guarantee of winning the commission. Sleepless nights as the ideas buzz around your head, for the perfect sculpture, in the perfect location. Negotiations with the clients can be exhausting. So why do I bother? Yes, it is always a challenge. Yes, there is always a steep learning curve, with a different subject, a different brief, a different client. But working to commission can also be exhilarating and highly rewarding.
Winning this first stage of my current commission was very exciting. For this, I needed to initially produce three maquettes (or small preparatory studies) of potential poses for the proposed 7-foot final bronze sculpture. Fortunately we all favoured the same pose – it lent the figure the gravitas and yet the approachability we needed. Back in the studio, I brought back in my live model and started to sculpt the pose in clay, this time in more detail, yet a similar size. After minor tweaks, this was approved and whisked away to the foundry to be cast in bronze.
The bronze maquette was presented to the Council of the commissioning Society and received a big thumbs up. Phew. Now the next stage begins, seeking permission from various bodies for the siting of the figure in a prominent position in London. Two of the applications for permission are now in. If successful, the fundraising will start with vengeance in September.
So, sorry I can’t share more details with you. Public art commissions are wonderful yet bizarre undertakings. I can’t talk about it, tweet about it, or put anything on my website about it. The whole thing has to be really hush hush. So remember to cross your fingers for me, and, watch this space….