Interview Morgan Shimeld | Yellowtrace

 

The work of Sydney based sculptor, Morgan Shimeld, is primarily concerned with the aesthetic and theoretical concepts of modernist architecture and design. He works intuitively in a creative and meditative process striving to find a natural sense of balance, strength, and elegance in the complex arrangement of abstracted minimalist forms.

His sculptures, constructed out of fabricated or cast bronze and steel, hold a powerful presence while maintaining a subtle quality of understated beauty. The artist’s aim is to a draw the viewer in, creating a relationship between the spectator and the space in between.

Morgan has been a finalist in a number of prestigious art prizes. His work has been sought after by many private collectors and it’s has also been acquired by Artbank Australia. We couldn’t resist having a chat to Morgan about his work and his process – read on for our Q&A below.

 

Abstract Construct by Morgan Shimeld | Yellowtrace
Abstract Construct, 2014 / Bronze with gold patina, 22 x 17 x 11cm $3,500

 

+ Hello Morgan, welcome to Yellowtrace! Could you please give us a quick introduction on yourself. When did you first decide you wanted to become an artist and how did you get to where you are today?

I’m a Sydney based sculptor, working in welded and fabricated bronze and steel. My work is typically geometric abstraction and minimalist in design. I work in both solid pieces, and open formed traced wire pieces.

My dad was a potter and I grew up in his studio, so I had a creative influence from early on. As a kid I was always interested in building and making things and taking things apart to see how they worked – I also loved to collect treasure. I was really interested in design, so I was tossing up going to design school or art school. In the end I chose to pursue art by going to University of Sydney, Sydney College of the Arts with a major in glass. While I was at uni I worked at a bronze art foundry, which is where I gained my experience working with sculpture in metal. My first solo show was all glass, my second solo show was half glass and half metal and by my third solo show I was only working in metal.

 

Triplex by Morgan Shimeld | Yellowtrace
Triplex Black, 2015 / Bronze, 176.5 x 55 x 30cm $15,000

 

+ What are you seeking to portray in your work? What is fundamental to your practice – your philosophy and your approach?

My work is inspired by the lineages of Minimalism, Formalism and Geometric Abstraction. I am moved to create sculptures that have a clean edges and either a simple or complex geometric form, while maintaining a sense of balance and grounding. When I’m in the studio making new work it is always an intuitive, contemplative process of addition, subtraction, reduction and arrangement.

 

Morgan Shimeld | Yellowtrace
Morgan Shimeld works out of a small studio in Sydney’s Alexandria.

Morgan Shimeld | Yellowtrace

 

+ Your sculptures are extraordinary! Could you please tell us how you go about creating these pieces? Is there a process you always follow? How long do they take?

I start all of my works by constructing small marquettes which can then be scaled to into small, medium or large scale works. It becomes a very intuitive process that involves adding volume to create structure as well as taking away volume, creating negative spaces. This process keeps going until I’m satisfied with the outcome. For small and mid sized bronze and steel solid works I will do all of the cutting, welding and finishing. For the large scale solid works I need to have the sheets of steel laser cut, so I have my marquettes drawn up by a cad designer. I then do all of the welding and finishing with the cut sheets of steel. My wire works are also made from marquettes which I create, arrange, cut and weld myself. I usually outsource the colouring of my work, the bronzes I have coloured with a patina at a foundry. Solid steel works and wire works will be coloured with a high quality polyurethane or powder coated.

 

Trio Orange by Morgan Shimeld | Yellowtrace
Triplex, 2014 / Bronze, 45.5 x 29 x 15cm $3,300

Rising Step by Morgan Shimeld | Yellowtrace
Rising Step, 2014 / Bronze, 42 x 30 x 16cm $4,900

 

+ Who or what are some of your influences? What other artists and creatives in general do you admire?

My work is inspired by artists such as Clement Meadmore, Tony Smith, Sol LeWitt and Richard Srera. I am interested in all of these artists and how my work fits in with the lineage of their work in the history of art. I am also influenced by modernist architects such as Seidler and Le Corbusier and by Scandinavian design.

+ Any interesting or quirky facts you could share with us about your work?

I had the colour of my Sculpture by the Sea 2014 work Triplex Large matched to my favourite blue shirt.

 

Trimetric Red by Morgan Shimeld | Yellowtrace
Trimetric Red / Bronze polyurethane paint, 36 x 30 x 15 cm $5,000

Morgan Shimeld | Yellowtrace

 

+ What advice would you give to emerging artists who want to follow your path? What was some of your biggest lessons learned since starting your practice?

My biggest advice is to keep practicing. I have been making work consistently since I left uni and this is how I have got to where I am today. My work has evolved and changed along the way. It always feels great when you get a breakthrough, or a big opportunity, but those things only happen if you keep consistently working at it. Make use of all the opportunities that you get to exhibit your work and further your art practice.

 

Vertical Step Relief by Morgan Shimeld | Yellowtrace
Vertical Step Relief, 2012 / Mild steel, enamel, 66 x 69 x 25cm $2,200

Trimetric Traced Blue by Morgan Shimeld | Yellowtrace
Trimetric Traced, 2011 / Bronze, polyurethane paint, 26 x 30 x 15cm $2,000

 

Let’s Get Real.

+ If I was not a artist, I would be… a designer and inventor. I love to design things and make things by hand.

+ Your most treasured belonging? My art collection, that is mainly by artists who are my friends.

+ What’s the best mistake you have ever made? It wasn’t quite a mistake – more a lucky experiment, when I made the first traced wire work of a solid piece (Abstract Construct). It worked so well, and was the segue into my current solid and wire traced works which I first showed in my solo show Converge in 2011.

+ What’s one thing other people may not know about you? I’m terrible at spelling, but really good at puzzles.

+ It’s not very cool, but I really like… my 1983 Toyota Spacia van with roof racks.

 


[Images courtesy of the artist.]

 

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