Using a home-made foundry this detritus was added to the casting process initially to bolster the cast where metal was lacking. But through the process – these spent objects added more to the creation of a new form rather than just filling a void. In the spirit of experimentation, the hot metal reacted with acid in the batteries and exploded creating new and unconventional shapes.
Crude and all as they are, they have a certain transformative quality that builds naturally on the cast form. The aesthetic of these sculptures is no simple negation of form but a genuine search for it, albeit in a more idiosyncratic way – unusual materials, leaving the plaster cast as part of the sculpture.
In a time of paradox – our reliance on expendable goods and the realisation of our finite resources, these sculptures – although initially appearing destructive in nature – are actually about a desire for transformation and revival. Unlikely elements united through a simple, rough, soulful quality brought about through the glitter of alchemy.
Brendan Earley lives and works in Wicklow. After graduating from NCAD with first class honours he spent a number of years travelling before receiving the Fulbright scholarship to attend Hunter College, New York City. Earley graduated with a Master in Fine Art in 1999 and returned to Dublin where he exhibits regularly both nationally and internationally. He was awarded his PhD in 2010 from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.
Head(feeling knackered), 2020, pewter, spent batteries, plaster, paint and steel.
22x21x19cm. Image courtesy of the artist. Photograph, Ros Kavanagh