Artist In The Spotlight:.....Gareth Griffiths
Gareth's is known for his sculptures based on American west coast Googie architecture of the 50's and 60's, featuring upswept roofs, curvaceous, geometric shapes and bold use of steel and colour. His latest series of work is inspired by surfing and waves, and each piece created is named after a wave or a beach. We caught up with him to ask him about his inspiration and how he creates his cool sculptures.
Carol: You are inspired by Googie architecture of the 50’s and 60’s, how do you relate these experiences to your work?
Gareth: On my travels I have seen many buildings in the Googie style. I have found their gravity defying look and bold colours inspire me to recreate their aesthetic in steel.
Carol: How do you start your pieces?
Gareth: I usually start by looking at images of Googie buildings or images I have taken on my travels. I then break these images up in my mind into shapes and start drawing these shapes. Once I get a shape I find interesting I either draw this out on 3d software and print them out on a 3d printer or I cut these shapes out of steel and start playing about with a composition I like.
Carol: Can you tell us a bit about your process?
Gareth: Once I have found a composition form that I like I will create a small model. These models are usually about 20cm high and give me an idea about how a sculpture will look from many angles. The next stage will be to construct larger maquettes by welding steel plate together and experimenting with colour.
Carol: - Can all your work be situated internally and externally?
Gareth: Most of the work I have made are constructed to be placed indoors, however some of the larger pieces I have made are specifically made to go outdoors, the difference being the paint and material used.
Carol: Do you know what your pieces are going to look like from the start or do they evolve?
Gareth: Most often my pieces very closely resemble the original idea. However due to the limitations of gravity other pieces have to be rethought.
Carol: How long does it take to complete a piece?
Gareth: This usually depends on what the size of the piece is going to be. A small indoors piece can take up to 2-3 weeks from start to finish, for a large outdoor piece this can take up to 4-5 weeks.
Carol: You use stainless steel for your work - are there other materials you would like to work with, but haven’t yet?
Gareth: I usually use mild, stainless steel, wood and PLA filament. I am always keen to work with new materials, I love to experiment.
Carol: Do you have any plans for new work or projects in the future that you can share with us?
Gareth: I am currently working on experimenting with alternative materials i.e. brass and sheet bronze, I have also started to create sculptures for the wall.
Carol: What is your studio like and where is it?
Fran: I work from home in East Dulwich. My studio is mostly a very large desk alongside a book shelf and plan chest that houses my collection of ornithology books, watercolour sets, Moleskine diaries, a growing assortment of pencils and inks, and a few bird cages and curios.
Carol: Do you have a typical question that everyone asks you about your work?
Gareth: People always ask what material I have used. I think the colour of the work disguises the look of the metal.
Carol: What do you like to do when you are not creating sculptures?
Gareth: I love spending time with my wife and son who is 21 months old, its nice to switch off and not think about sculpture.
Carol: What is your perfect weekend?
Gareth: My perfect weekend would be spending it with my family on a beach where I can surf play with my son and have a BBQ and a few beers in the sun.
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