Tony Cragg – ‘Be There, See It, Respond to It’ | TateShots

Tony Cragg – ‘Be There, See It, Respond to It’ | TateShots


This was the very first one, this was
actually found by my brother Nigel. You won’t believe how beautiful this is by
the way, look at that. And that’s the very first fossil we found but we thought it
was a miracle. You know people ask where the ideas come from. What I don’t know if ideas are very useful in making art, so I think the
great basis of a lot of the work is the work one’s just finished or the work one’s
doing. I mean, in the studio I’m making about 34 works right now. Some of them I have been making for two and a half, three years and I suppose
they’ll never come to an end. And then other things, just a few
weeks ago, have just started and who knows, there is no guarantee. This is like
a painter’s palette. I don’t like to use analogy with painting but it is. This is a palette where I can move the material around and find my
own path through the material I suppose. My first wife was born and raised in
Wuppertal and I have to say being here has been very kind to me. People have
been very kind, very generous, very supportive. When do you think we can have it? Two weeks? You think so? All right, it’s beginning to look really good isn’t it? I hope it fits with the other one I have to be there, I have to see it, I
have to respond to it to make the next decisions and as well as studios, I
have the people here, my assistants here because then I can
keep an eye on everything and I’m here everyday and checking and making,
working with them. Considering the fact that noboby is going to see this at 7
meters high but it’s beautifully made. I have to say they’ve done a great job on
this. Fantastic. I wanted to make work that has – steel work – that has a totally non-industrial basis to it. Just pure fantasy,
there is no natural model for it. Did you get this bit ready? Is that it is it?
It’s just being glued. Can we just see what that looks like when that’s up there? We’re making it now in polystyrene and then what we’re going to have to cut it all apart, document it. Very, very carefully cut it
apart and every single bit, every single fraction is going have to be cast in steel
and then reassembled and sealed. It’s going to be a real job to do that but I
think it’s going look very exciting. I’m excited to see it that’s all. That’s why you do things. You can go to the foundry and they say: ‘No sorry, it can’t be done, which is always good to hear because then you know nobody else
did it. You see this one here, this has just arrived coming from the foundry
now. I’m not going to try to pick it up because it’s an enormous weight. That comes together. This has been a real challenge for the foundry to make. That’s not my job just to make their life
difficult but I need to get the things out I want to have, the forms I want to
make. If you have a massive material in front of you and you move it around, there are just endless possibilities. It’s infinite. Really the job is to actually find out where it becomes
more meaningful and where you feel this is something that some
correspondence but I can’t preempt that strangely enough. It may well be that
tomorrow [laughs] – they shouldn’t hear this – could be that there is tomorrow we have
to take the whole thing down and start again. I have just been very fortunate
because there is a certain set of themes and things I’m interested in, that just have fascinated me since I’m a kid; like the geology, like all sorts of natural
relations to natural history, the landscape. The interest is the
material, the materials we find around us. Even the stacks I made; part of the
intention was to make geological blocks That is what I drew. I literally drew the first invitation card I did was of a geological block with all the different strata inside it. I love sculpture, I think i’m fascinated
by what other people make and how they make it and what it means. So I’m a real
sculpture fan. We’ve done, I think now, 45 exhibitions of sculptor’s work. I didn’t
know it was going to take up so much time. Actually, to be honest, that’s a
fantastic experience that I enjoy. Culture is an enormously dynamic and
dramatically developing discipline and it’s one of the only uses of material
that’s not utilitarian. It is literally just about new forms and new ideas and
new emotional experiences. When you see how ugly everything is built: simple geometries, flat, straight edge, boring right angle, a repetitive and
inferior world we build in a sense. Sculpture is the only one that actually
builds something crazy and interesting

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