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  • Steve Hubbard

'El Capitan' sculpture

This is the sculpture that I’ve titled ‘El Capitan’. Along with ‘Superchief’ (which I’ll do an entry on in the next week or so), it’s the first sculpture of 2015.

As I noted in previous blog entries, this started out as a largish block of what the stone merchant termed ‘coca-cola’ soapstone, which I bought two blocks of in 2010. The first block became the sculpture ‘Jagganath’ and I couldn’t quite understand why it was termed ‘coca-cola’ as it has more of a purple (verging on Blueberry) hue with patches of red.

This hue of this block is clearly more brown than purple, and the pronounced cream flecks are reminiscent of bubbles.

I started work on the block shortly after completing Jagganath, but felt as if I was randomly hacking away at a lump of stone - and nothing very interesting was emerging, so it was set aside until I sawed it in half in December.

As soon as I’d divided it, ideas emerged that were reminiscent of an early sculpture that I did in 2008 called ‘Carnivora’ (still the smallest sculpture that I’ve done). This is still one of my favourite early sculptures, and I’ve never really revisited any of the forms or ideas, notably: the curved ridges (reminiscent of carnassial teeth), channels between them, and the hollows carved into the sides.

As I worked on this new sculpture (in parallel with ‘Superchief’), it started to diverge from any representation of teeth, and draw more inspiration from Art Deco architectural forms (which should start to form a clue to how it, and its partner, arrived at their names).

While I was pleased with the direction that my sculpture was taking with the ‘Archetype’ and ‘Chalice’ sculptures completed late last year (available to view at Stoneworks Gallery in Swanage), and this is a direction that I’m continuing to pursue, it was good to briefly return to explore some earlier ideas and forms.

‘El Capitan’ hand carved soapstone, on a reclaimed wood base (originally part of a groyne / sea defence) 2015; W 21.5cm D 19cm H 15cm 4.05kg

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