LIQUID METAL STUDIOS

independence, authenticity, ingenuity

clay head
clay head
clay head
linde dancers WK
crucible
Mary Ward install Marryatville
Wk and waterbirds
palm frond
crucible
Wk and clay lion
Wk and clay lion
weld
clay head
crucible
owlpole
patina
patina

"There is a sheer visceral materiality to sculpture that keeps an artist grounded in reality; the grit and slip of clay, the slow emergence of form from shapeless mass, the slurry of plaster, the hot honey smell of wax melting, liquid rubber gelling into shape, mapping the path of burning gas as it spirals through a kiln, hot moulds that weigh ¼ of a tonne yet are as fragile as eggshells, the astonishing, wondrous, iridescent fluidity of molten bronze, the crucible glowing orange. I find myself looking into a ‘volcano’, looking back into the cauldron of creation. And then, when the firing is over; the black crust of the cast contours in a mountain of plaster waste, like the first clues emerging from an archaeological dig, three dimensional jigsaws of jagged fragments. I live in my dust mask and gloves amongst shards and splinters of ground metal. I spend whole days in the silent chamber of earplugs and facemasks, every ounce of energy focused on the spinning of the tungsten tipped grinders.

The final serenity of a completed work never reveals the whirlwind of activity that has brought it into being."

Liquid Metal Studios combines the resources of two Sculptors; Will Kuiper and Meliesa Judge. Amongst the foremost producers of contemporary figurative sculpture in Australia, the artists cast their own original sculpture into bronze using their unique professional facility.

Their work is informed by directions taken in recent British Sculpture, where the human figure is used as an active element in a dialogue that includes many other references. The figure becomes the expression and mediation of aesthetic experience.

Liquid Metal studios is fully independent. The Artists do not seek government funding, as they believe that art should be autonomous. They are not signed to any gallery or agent as they prefer to sell direct to the public at wholesale prices.

Mitcham Council granted the artist's a lease for a workshop in a disused Council Depot site in 2003. Extensive renovations made the space suitable for the multipurpose sculpture studio. They overlook the city of Adelaide, tucked into the Foothills, backed by old quarries and remnant bushland. A small gallery area attached to the workshop exhibits recently completed sculpture.

The artists run a bronze casting foundry specifically to cast their own work. The combination of the sculptor's modelling and design skills with mastery of the bronze casting methodology, enables a confluence between inspiration and technique. The distinctive possibilities of the process also inform and extend the sculptor's approach.

The foundry uses the traditional lost-wax bronze casting techniques. The process and equipment has been modified to minimise environmental impact and is fully compliant with EPA standards.

Bronze casting requires a team approach; project management, mould making, casting, assembling and finishing are shared tasks, with each artist responsible for diverse areas of production. However the two Artists sculpt their own work individually and separately, developing their own styles and themes.

Both sculptors are well represented in private collections across Australia and in Europe. Permanent public site work can be seen locally at the University of Adelaide, Waite Arboretum; The Hindmarsh Library; Windsor Green; Carrick Hill and Linde Reserve,Stepney.

Will Kuiper is best known for the sculpture of Malcolm Blight for Adelaide Oval. Will’s design captured the singular style of Malcolm’s long-kick, but also demanded a complex engineering solution as the entire sculpture is canter-levered back from the single point of contact, as the heel of the striding foot hits the ground. The short deadline meant that both artists worked the wet clay alongside eachother, climbing over and around each-other, trying to resolve the musculature in the sculpted form. They had an athlete as a life model to bring authenticity to the sculpt. The finished work almost floats beside the stadium, every muscle ready for the next stride.

A series of large sculptural elements in Linde Reserve, Stepney showcases the skills of both artists. Seven large bronzes create a sculptural dialogue in the park, engaging with the significant history of the area as well as with the environment. Sculptures include one of Will's signature series of large howling wolves in its original configuration with an oversized tuning fork; and a giant spider, designed for the site and suspended high in a tree over the children's playground.

Mary Ward, for the Loreto Schools in Australia, was Meliesa’s first nationwide commission. It took several years to bronze cast the entire edition of eight of the life sized portraits, casting them all at the Studios. Subsequent projects have honed her skills in historic interpretive portraiture. Her most recent sculpture is Catherine MacAuley for Monte Sant Angelo College, North Sydney, 2018. Meliesa is a Churchill Fellow 2001.

The Aurora sculpture in the Aurora building, Pirie St Adelaide is a bronze that truly reflects the combined skills of these two artists. It is a loosely sculpted figure of a walking woman cast as a fine filigree of bronze, ethereal and not quite solid. It is a sculpture that could only have been made by artists who also are bronze casters.

Ancient skills and techniques combining with contemporary sensibility; it is the collaboration of minds across their busy workshop, the level of unique insight from each artist, that brings the sculpture into existence.

"The studio has come to life again… It has once again become creativity’s sanctuary from the world… the art created in it is neither traditional nor avant garde, but a combination of the two. It brings together the spirituality and humanism of the Old Masters and the innovation and criticality of the Modern Masters… Unless the concept is embodied in the object - is brought to life and lives through its material - there is no art."

Donald Kuspit; The end of Art.