calm / storm

Sumit Sarkar
3D printed abstract sculpture inspired by Goole artist Reuben Chappell

I started with the 1st thing a painter/sculptor does when they arrive at a new town or city – visit the main Art Gallery / Museum, albeit in this case digitally. The what3words for this location was “dares.deform.calm” which immediately resonated, the implication of brazenly warping serenity, which reflects in some ways my abstract sculptural work, and also alas what my life is all about. I wanted to create an abstract sculpture for this commission, inspired by some aspect of either Goole, or directly from a what3words location, so my next step was to Google artists from Goole, and found the artist Reuben Chappell (1870-1940), a marine artist specialising in painting ships and discovered the largest collection of his work was housed at Goole Museum! The website artuk.org, an amazing directory of artworks which I wasn’t aware of before, has a list of all his works and their locations, so I searched which ones were at Goole Museum and from the results, chose a painting whose name connected with me, and also the style of the ship – I wanted to work from a ship with sails, but not too many sails. Thus I decided on the painting of a top-sail schooner, ‘Rival’ of Rye. I feel my abstract sculptural work is better the less I think about it, so I dived straight in, and my process was as usual – digital sketching, 3D modelling (sculpting digitally), and then 3D print. I wanted to combine different materials, with white translucent resin representing the sails, opaque black the wood / hull, and clear transparent blue to represent the elements, in this case both water and wind. Keeping with the theme of “daring to deform calm” I wanted to aggravate Reuben’s usually tranquil scenes, and the phrase “eye of the storm” popped into my mind, and also influenced the design of the sculpture. I like to record process, but also to avoid having to speak on video, something I try and steer clear of at all costs, so I decided to make a process video instead, which became its own beast. I needed a soundtrack, and on googling musicians from Goole, discovered the work of composer Gavin Bryars who was born there, and was immediately drawn to his piece, “The Sinking of the Titanic”, a beautiful work of music, that also tied in with the nautical / stormy themes of my sculpture, Reuben’s paintings and the what3words of the Museum. I reached out and he very kindly gave me permission to use an extract as a soundtrack to the video. Also by permission of Schott Music Ltd.

Sumit Sarkar

Sumit Sarkar is a sculptor and painter working with digital and analogue techniques, taking inspiration from a variety of sources including religious iconography, science fiction and street art, with recent work focusing on abstracted sculptural form.

New technology is at the forefront of Sumit’s practice with projects exploring the use of stone milling with a 7-axis robot arm, Virtual and Augmented Reality and multi-material 3D print.

Sumit has exhibited in various solo and group shows, including a 20 year retrospective alongside new work with Gem Arts in Gateshead in 2018, and a residency and exhibition at the Colombo Art Biennale in 2017.