Scaffolding is purely a means to an end, erected on a temporary basis to facilitate the repair or building of a permanent structure. Or is it? A number of contemporary artists have challenged this idea, using scaffolding components to create stunning sculptural works that have no function other than to delight the viewer.
In this edition of the Mitchell's Scaffolding blog, we look at the work of two such artists: Ben Long and Jarrod Taylor.
Ben Long spent the early portion of his working life on various construction sites, before enrolling to study at London's famous Camberwell College of Art and Design. During his studies and after graduating, Long created artworks utilising industrial materials that clearly showed the profound influence of his previous work on construction sites.
It can be argued that the components of scaffolding are not beautiful things in and of themselves but the way that Long uses them makes them become beautiful. One example of this amazing metamorphosis is evident in Long's fantastic sculpture of a horse, which was made entirely from scaffolding components. Long perfectly captures the majestic qualities of the animal, creating an exceptional illusion of movement.
Jarrod Taylor's story is similar, in that he spent a number of years working as a professional scaffolder before embarking on a university course studying sculpture and fine art. After graduating, Taylor submitted a gravity-defying sculpture to Australia's 'Sculptures by the Sea' exhibition, which involves the displaying of many sculptures on the world-famous Bondi Beach. His sculpture, entitled 'Structural Wave', was one of the most critically-acclaimed at the event.
The following year, Taylor submitted an even more ambitious scaffolding sculpture to the same exhibition. Entitled 'Structural Wind' and standing at a massive 15 metres in height, the impressive sculpture appeared to be magically light thanks to Taylor's artistic skills at manipulating the industrial components.
Our operatives may not use scaffolding components to make art but their extensive training and dedication to the craft are directly comparable to that of these artists. You can find out more about our work on the Mitchell's Scaffolding website. To receive more articles and features like this, along with case studies, industry news and more, please subscribe to our regular newsletter.