A relatively small but striking ‘ pop up ‘ exhibition is currently on display at Traffic Jam Galleries, by sculptor Will Maguire entitled LEANING IN TO LETTING GO .
Maguire is one of very few contemporary blacksmiths in Australia. Traditional skills are combined with contemporary design, seeking to bring out the commanding presence of the materials.
The works are intensely personal.The timbers Maguire used were ironbark and turpentine over a hundred years old from an old wharf, the sheoak from his parents property – a tree which came down in a storm.
Most of the works combine wood and metal, with swooping lines and emphatic shapes. Much attention is paid to the grain of the wood and how it contrasts with the metal.
Turpentine Construction 1 is sharp, straight and clean and looks perhaps like a rifle.
Turpentine Construction 3 emphasises the cracked grain of the wood and features a curved ‘handle’ like the top of a musical instrument.
Turpentine Construction 4 features a long stretched ‘tongue’ of metal , perhaps like the tongue of an echidna.
Turpentine Study 3 is dominated by a curved, swooping line of metal.
In She Oak Study 1 the glorious texture of the wood is made much of and it has a strong , vertical line of composition,=, with what looks like a saw at the back of the sculpture.
Ironbark Construction 2 has the elegant look of a sextant.
Ironbark Study 1 the curved line of the metal is contrasted with the verticality of the wonderfully textured wood.
There are also three ghostly iron masks, one long and vertical, another with a stronger, heavier feel, the third tear drop shaped.
Will Maguire’s exhibition ‘Leaning In To letting Go’ runs at the Traffic Jam Galleries 28 August – 25 September 2020.