As the biannual outdoor exhibition; Sculpture by the Sea in Aarhus, is moving closer, we’ve just engaged us in a video project that will take us a bit closer into the process behind the enormous project. Today we met the New York-born, Sydney-based artist Arun Sharma who for the last month have been working on his piece for the exhibiton.
We enter one of the workspaces at Godsbanen, where Arun is having a two months recidency up until the opening of Sculpture by the Sea. Arun Sharma has an education in ceramics and fine arts, and is mainly working with processes of degradation. Arun is working on a piece that will be part of his (de)Composition series, where he focuses on the human decay. As we come closer Arun removes the thin plastic that covers the unfinished sculpture, and a couple, laying on top of each other, is revealed. While talking Arun is constantly rolling bits of clay between his hands and is carefully forming the curves of the dark grey, decapitated but very life-like figures on the table.
The piece in front of us is called (de)Composition: Lovers, it’s made in clay and will be put unfired on it’s location in the woods. In this way the sculpture will change in according to weather conditions and slowly decay in ways that are out of the artists hands. The first time Arun exhibited one of his (de)Composition works was in Seattle, and during the four month exhibition period a small sprout grew out of the clay. “A small seed must have landed in the clay while it was still wet – It’s the kind of things you can’t predict,” Arun clearly seems excited about the transformation of his works, the unpredictable, and explains how he, this time, uses clay that cracks easier because of the short exhibition period of only one month.
Many travels and the final destination
“The models I used for doing the cast are husband and wife, because it’s important that they would look comfortable in the pose. The piece is also about the married life, how we maintain relationships and the memories of it after we pass away. Therefore I also wanted to keep the detail of the wedding rings.” Arun himself has been married for almost ten years, and last year he moved with his Australian wife to Sydney, where they are raising their kid, and this was actually where he first heard about Sculpture by the Sea. He was too late for the submission deadline for the Australian-version but luckily got accepted by the Aarhus-jury. Arun is a travelling soul and has been living in places like Canada, Japan, Hawaii, Melbourne and Wales before settling in Sydney. “Every time we say ‘this is perfect, we gonna stay here’ new oputunities always come up – so we don’t say that anymore.” Despite his tangential rootlessness, two month of artist rescidence on the diametrically opposite side of the earth, away from his family is too much. Even though he expresses that the people from Sculpture by the Sea have almost become like family to him.
A hardworking and passionated craftman
Arun is covering up the sculpture again, to prevent it from drying. He is walking around the table and in a continuous movement he is unvealing and fixing details, while the conversation goes on. Arun is a really nice person, who is deeply involved in his work; just the fact that he stays in Aarhus for over two months to work on a piece for a month-long exhibition that afterwards will be gone, shows his amazing engagement. We really enjoyed getting a small insight in Arun’s life and work and can’t wait to follow the process of the finished work that will be set out on location, the 1st of June 2013. We are sure what it will be beautiful.
1st week at site (photo taken on the 31st of May 2013):
3rd week at site (photo taken on the 17th of June 2013):
4th week at site (photo taken on the 30th of June 2013):
Rikke Luna (f. 1988) og Matias Albæk-Falk (f. 1988) er stiftere af idoart.dk, og driver derudover formidlingsbureauet I DO ART Agency samt I DO ART Books.