Orifice Tower started out as a quick thumbnail sketch that I drew whilst waiting for a talk to commence at the Jerwood Space in Bankside. I can’t remember now what the talk was about but at that time I was working on some small sculptures that were basically wooden boxes that incorporated carved apertures or orifices. By this stage I’d become aware of the fact that much of my work was getting smaller and smaller so I decided to remedy this by creating elevated versions of these new Orifice Box sculptures. This also tied in with my love of tower structures.
Although it might look like it’s just been thrown together all the individual box sections and framework of Orifice Tower have been carefully constructed in such a way that the pieces interlock, creating a deceptively sturdy structure – not that I’m encouraging anyone to try and climb it. Discounting the glue, all the materials used in the construction of this piece (mostly wood but some copper piping and small metal fixings) are recycled – even down to the screws. This isn’t purely for environmental reasons. It’s mainly because I love the patina and ‘resonance’ of old materials. A lot of the wood comes from the backs of old picture frames or early to mid-20th Century packing cases from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
One of the problems of exhibiting awkward sized sculptures (this piece is almost 2 metres tall) is getting them to and from venues so I designed this one so that it interlocks and bolts together in four sections – making it easier to transport/package, and making the bolts a feature of the work.
To be perfectly honest I enjoyed constructing this piece so much that I was more than happy to squander days just working on the tinniest of details – most of which no-one but myself will probably even notice. I think sculpting, and art in general, is as much about the process as it is the end result. And I really love the process!
As well as the obvious sexual interpretation of the orifice element that has emerged in many of my recent works (and is manifest in the top section of this piece), my main interest in the device, lies in it being the portal between the internal and the external.
NOTE: The postage costs for this piece includes the cost of packaging/crating.