When approaching a sculptural project, it is best not to rush into things. Careful planning is needed to make sure everything fits into place. Once wrong chip, and the entire thing is ruined. At least that is usually the case.
Austin Emery is an expressive artist who endorses 'direct spontaneous sculpting'. This is very freeing, and makes sculpting far less intimidating to people who are just starting out. Emery believes that anyone can be a sculptor, which is why, in 2012 he pioneered the award-winning Leathermarket Community Sculpture Project. It brought a hundred participants to his workshop, where they all created fragments of a whole. Emery pieced all the fragments together to create a unique two and a half tonne monument titled 'The Shared'.
The workshop took place once again in October 2013, and brought people of all ages and cultures together for a creative communal experience. Emery states that 'these pieces are so rich. They hold within them the feeling, emotion and personality of the people who created them as well as the social experience enjoyed during their making. Their work is the socially-engaged fabric that I use, by piecing together the fragments, to create permanent public site-specific sculptures. This process sets in stone the chisel chops, cuts and marks which embodies the collective expression of the community.'
'The Shared' is due to be unveiled sometime later this year, but until then, you can see the fragments of Emery's 2013 workshop during his first every exhibition at Tanner House. There will be a special opening on the seventh of February between 6.30pm-8pm. It will then be open from the 8th - 12th February, 12pm-6pm, and is completely free.
Once Emery has completed piecing together these fragment, both of the monuments will be put on permanent display at Whites Grounds Estate as an example of what creativity, freedom, and collaboration can achieve.