29th April 2020
The Art of Commissioning A Sculpture
“Adding narrative makes the sculpture so much more than just a person’s replica.”
Andrew Sinclair is unique in his approach to his work as a commissioned sculptor. As with all his work, Andrew creates more than just a visual replica of a figure. Rather he endeavours to explore the story behind the person, placing them within their history and environment. People are never just about their visual appearance and Andrew represents this by exploring their personalities, actions and achievements.
As can be witnessed in his sculpture of David Bowie (see the case study), Andrew allows the many personalities of one person to come to the fore through imaginative storytelling. The story first appears at the concept stage of a commission. Time is taken to research and source the key aspects that will lift a sculpture to become a true reflection of the character behind it.
Once this initial concept has been presented to the client and approved for further exploration, Andrew will create a scaled down maquette of the proposed finished sculpture. This is created in clay and lifts the two-dimensional ideas off the storyboard and into life in three dimensions. The maquette stage, whilst offering plenty of room for amendments and alterations, gives the commissioning team a clear idea of just how the final piece might look.
‘True realism’ in realist sculpture is vital and caution is advised when commissioning a piece. Many high-profile sculptures have fallen foul of poor artistry. If your commissioned piece wants to be a realistic depiction of the person – rather than an abstract interpretation – then caution is required. Andrew Sinclair is recognised as one of the world’s leading realist figurative sculptors, delivering sculptures that visually represent their subjects faithfully. This realism is thanks to Andrew’s own devised method of realist figurative sculpture. The ‘Sinclair Method’ has been developed by Andrew and described in his book ‘The Art of Earth and Fire’, the first book for over 100 years to outline the figurative sculptural techniques to deliver truly realistic sculptures. This method is also taught to students by Andrew at his own Sculpture School. The Sinclair Method ensures realistic replication of the subject and guarantees the ’wow’ factor every single time.
On approval of the maquette, the creation of the final sculpture begins. This is a long process that, depending on the scale and complexity of the piece, can take many months. Individual elements need crafting, moulds need to be taken and casts made. This is where the true craftsmanship comes in and every part of the process is handled with unparalleled care and attention. From this point to the unveiling it is an exercise in precise project management. Clients are regularly kept up-to-date with progress and encouraged to visit the sculpture in the workshop at any point.
Installation is again a masterclass in logistics. For example, Andrew’s memorial for the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment had to be transported over 300 hundred miles from the workshop to its home in Halifax town centre. Often, the installation of a piece can involve the coming together of many different cast elements, much like a jigsaw.
In commissioning a sculpture, it is vital that you feel reassured that every part of the process will be handled with efficiency and professionalism. At Andrew Sinclair Sculpture we understand how important your project is and ensure we deliver your commission on time and on budget.
Not many of us will ever have had to commission a sculpture before. The thought might appear daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. To learn more about the process, outline your project or just have an exploratory chat, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Andrew Sinclair sculpture: 01837 82879