Exhibition details finalised

The Wizard of Oz: Larger than life Figurative Sculpture is set to officially open at 4.30pm Saturday April 1 at Strathnairn Homestead Gallery. 

The show will be advertised via social media and print media. Here is the official poster to be circulated around town in the coming weeks: 

 

The Cowardly Lion

This is an image of the third work in the series The Wizard of Oz. This is the Cowardly Lion, whom Dorothy meets in the forest on the way to the Emerald City. While the Scarecrow lacks a brain and the Tin Man lacks a heart, the Cowardly Lion lacks courage. He is portrayed brilliantly in the 1939 film by Bert Lahr. 

I have interpreted the Cowardly Lion with a more African, quasi-Rastafarian bent. You can see the long dreadlocks and "rough" appearance, giving him an overall more wild, dishevelled look. 

The Cowardly (Rastafarian) Lion

The Tin Man

This is a progress shot of the Tin Man, after 10 weeks of modelling. You can see that the top of the head is flat - this is to accommodate the tin hat which will be added later. Initially, the Tin Man was modelled on Mike Macgregor (fellow artist) however after some time I realised it wasn't feeling "right". Enter: LeBron James!!! The crux of the problem was that the physiognomy of the model did not match the weightiness of the sculpture - I needed someone more robust - a heavyweight boxer or weightlifter. The perfect inspiration arrived in the form of a Zbrush image of LeBron James, NBA superstar. You can see this image in the background hanging on the board.

What is the Wizard of Oz?

The Wizard of Oz is an ambitious new sculptural project due for completion in December 2016. It will feature four larger-than-life sculptures of each of the characters from the classic 1939 film: Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.

The sculptures will be cast in ciment fondu (concrete) and will sit atop four Cor-Ten steel plinths. They will be exhibited at Strathnairn Gallery Canberra for three weeks and will also be viewable online. 

Some have asked: why the Wizard of Oz? The answer is two-fold: 1) the Wizard of Oz is a classic film that has stood the test of time. Why is that so many other films from the same era have been forgotten, yet this particular film has been remembered? In my work, I endeavour to create forms which also stand the test of time - physically and metaphorically speaking.

2) The central thematic element of the Wizard of Oz which intrigues me is the idea of human "incompleteness" - that we are all searching for some part we miss. For example, the Scarecrow lacks a brain (intellect) and his personal quest in the film is to find a brain. The experience that follows as result of this incompleteness, is a kind of suffering - what the Buddhists call "dukka".

 

Stop seeking, and you will see.

I recently requested a sum of money from ArtsACT to partly fund the Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful on this occasion.

But the show must, and will go on. 

I recently experienced an altered state of consciousness whereby I believe I communicated with Creator. He manifested as "Vulcan" - the God of the Forge, Metallurgy and the Arts. He told me "Do not be disheartened - you already have the strength. There are others who need my help more urgently. Go forth, be bold, be brave - Vulcan is with you".

 

 

I cannot explain how it is possible that we mortal beings can have contact with deities, spirits or gods, but I believe a great deal of creative energy and inspiration comes from these higher beings. 

And so it is with great excitement, energy and belief that the Wizard of Oz continues.

 

The Labyrinth at Henry Power Architecture

I am pleased to announce that the Labyrinth will be travelling to Sydney very soon.

It will be on loan for an indefinite period of time at Henry Power Architecture.

Henry Power is my cousin and a strong supporter of my art practice. I am delighted that he has agreed to exhibit this art work at his office.

The Labyrinth is a metaphor for the life journey: the path we walk is our destiny. I hope that the sculpture will be a great talking point for clients and potentially a source of creative inspiration for Henry. 

LabTwit
The great square has no corners. The great vessel is never completed. The great note sounds muted. The great image has no form. (Tao Te Ching, 3: 41)

New project coming in 2016: The Wizard of Oz

I am currently seeking a $15,000 grant from ArtsACT to assist in funding an ambitious new project: The Wizard of Oz.

The aim of the project is to create the four characters from the classic 1939 film: Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. The characters are to be played (modelled!) by: Mary Kayser, Nigel Lendon, Mike Macgregor and Michael Hunter. The sculptures will take the form of portrait busts (head and shoulders) and will be slightly over life-size!

This project marks a return to the difficult art of life modelling, an incredibly demanding and rigorous sculptural discipline. However, with the support of friends and family, I am confident that we can create some outstanding artwork, and the project can be completed successfully. 

 

The four characters from the film who will be sculpted in clay: Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.


Launch of new website!

Welcome to www.ollieayrton.com! This website has been designed to show case my portfolio of art works, to promote my art practice and to build legions of admiring fans and loyal clients! I will be updating this blog regularly with the latest about what's happening at Studio 9.

I am an tenant/artist at the Australian National Capital Artists (ANCA) in Canberra, ACT. I graduated from the ANU School of Art in 2011 and I have been working steadily as an artist ever since. I have been honing my craft at ANCA for the more than 2 years, steadily gaining confidence and skill across a variety of techniques and processes.

I am what you might call an "old school" sculptor - that is to say, I work with traditional materials (clay, wood, plaster, steel) and I make solid, beautiful forms which (I hope) will endure and stand the test of time.