The human form is a fascinating subject for sculpting and one I have only recently focused on; I love the sense of movement and the ability to convey emotion. At first, I just concentrated on the head with sculptures like ‘Search for Enlightenment’ and ‘Leaf Spirit’. Then I moved onto the full human form and used ballet as my inspiration. The first stage is to create a maquette, which I do in a more traditional style, although with a contemporary and flowing base. However, I wanted to create something with a more ethereal quality that had a delicacy that reflected the elegance of a ballerina as well as the beauty of the performance. For the monumental piece, I also wanted to create a sculpture that merged with the landscape and conveyed movement. By working on the Voronoi pattern I was able to reveal the movement of the trees and shrubs behind the sculpture to give the motion of the dance.

I started the piece by spending some time working on poses with Ksenia Ovsyanick, the principal ballerina with the Staatsballett, Berlin. With Athena, I thought I had decided on a pose and then at the end of the day, we played the music from Saint-Saëns’s cello solo, Le Cygne, which Michel Foline had used as the musical basis to create the solo ballet performance ‘The Dying Swan’ for Anna Pavlova. As the ballerina danced the ‘Dying Swan’ I was mesmerized by the elegance and grace and then saw the pose I wanted to use.

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Search for Enlightenment