Gordon Dickinson - Sentinel of Nature


I am based in Wiltshire where I work predominantly with mild steel to create work based on nature and organic form.  The process I follow involves heating, beating, burning and arc welding to produce individual works of art.  Mild steel, if placed outside, will be affected by the elements, causing it to take on a wonderful natural rust patina.  I enjoy the fact that nature not only inspires my work but also continues to affect it after I have finished. 


The idea for this sculpture came about after hearing naturalist David Bellamy discussing the catastrophic affects on our planet, if we continue to ignore the signs that nature continuously gives us.  He went on to use the butterfly as an example, explaining that their dwindling number in species was a sure sign that something is wrong and that we as humans are to blame.

If we do nothing, chaos will ensue.Edward Lorenz asked, "Does the Flap of a Butterfly's wings set off a Tornado in Brazil?" when talking of his chaos theory, often described as ‘the Butterfly Effect’.

My proposed sculpture is to respond to the situation by creating a piece of chaos in Colletta; my material will be mild steel, which will, over time, take on a wonderful natural rust patina.A butterfly will be attached by a steel trail increasing in size, becoming the main body of the piece.  I would coat the butterfly with a spray-applied clear lacquer to inhibit the rust forming leaving the butterfly a bright silver colour.  The butterfly would need re-spraying probably once a year, a task that would cost very little and take minutes.

My method would be fairly chaotic also; I will start with no definite idea of how the finished item will look, allowing it to grow almost organically and trusting my head and heart to know when to stop.


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