SCULPTURE

When making sculptures Baxter explores the world of ‘Bricolage’. Like all constructions, he follows some basic guidelines for the development of these works.

“(1) Found materials are first gathered and sorted. I quite often find toys and the like, objects that take me back to simpler times. (2) I sometimes make molds of items to cast, add to, and alter in various ways. When making ceramic pieces I quite often use plaster molds, both commercially available and many I make myself from hand-built blanks or found objects. 

Recently I have been collecting stainless steel and silver heirloom trays found in OP Shops. I began my OP Shop adventures as an Art Student in Toowoomba. Toowoomba was renowned for its great second-hand shops and OP Shops back in the 1980s. I like to use stainless steel and silver because of the availability, permanence, and reflective shine of each. Future conservation will be minimal with such durable materials. (3) When searching for materials, I often have an image or story in mind of what the final sculpture might look like and be about. I then collect and piece together items to match the story. (4) During the construction phase, each found singular element indicates to me its past life story, due to how it has been treated in the past, signs of wear and tear leave hints of its past life’s journey. When observing and handling found objects I find myself thinking about their past life, story, and the people who once handled the objects. Some of the items have engravings, messages from our recent past, and messages from people, long gone. (5) When reusing items to form a Bricolage, it is my task to place the newly found elements in a way that changes original use, purpose, and meaning.  By doing so a new story is created. Old and new stories converge during the construction phase”.

The Candy Man by Stephen Baxter