Although here at BDC Scaffolding we (obviously) love scaffolding, we realise that if you aren’t directly involved in the industry, scaffolding can seem like more of a functional necessity that a subject of interest. So, we’re here to change that… for instance did you know that scaffolding can be incredibly artistic too? In fact there’s two artists in particular who lead the way in the world of scaffolding art and some of the art they have created with scaffolding is simply amazing.
The first of the two artists is a really talented gentleman called Ben Long. The art that Ben creates seems particularly beautiful to me because he uses mediums and settings that would not immediately spring to mind as places or things of beauty. As well as sculptures made out of scaffolding he has also used spirit levels to create sculptures as well as creating a series of pictures that he makes by drawing with his finger into the dirt on the back of lorries. It is the surprise of seeing something so creative and beautiful made out of objects that are usually considered to be functional and possibly dull that really makes his art work stick in your mind. On his website you can view his work. Ben Long studied at Camberwell College of Art and Design in London however he had worked on construction sites as teenager and his art work shows a wonderful fusion of those two experiences.
Horse Scaffolding Sculpture by Ben Long. (via. contemporaryartsociety.org)
The sheer size of this art work means that they can take up to three weeks to erect. As they have to be assembled on site it means that people can see them being put up and this process can be just fascinating as the finished sculpture itself.
The other artist who has created some amazing pieces of work out of scaffolding is Jarrod Taylor. His work caught my eye because they simply seem to defy gravity. Jarrod Taylor studied fine art and sculpture at college but had also spent many years working as a scaffolding professional in the construction industry. It was his entry of the Structural Wave into the 2005 Sculptures by the Sea exhibition which really made people take notice of him. Sculptures by the Sea is a project in Australia that displays works of art along the coast between the beaches of Bondi and Tamarrama. Here is an incredible video showing how the Structural Wave was built.
He followed this a year later with his 15 metre high entry of Structural Wind using scaffolding once again in order to push a medium in art that had not been used much before.
Structural Wind by Jarrod Taylor (image Bentley Taylor)
What’s interesting about these sculptures, aside for the artistic beauty of them, is the amount of knowledge and training that must have gone into making them. In the scaffolding industry we have to undertake continual training with regards to the health and safety involved in erecting scaffolding as well as belonging to industry accredited schemes such as CSCS. As you can imagine, when you are working at great height you want to be sure that you are on a stable structure! But it’s the mathematics and training behind learning to build scaffolding that has also made these works of art possible.