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Peter Lange Creates Trompe L’oeil Brick Sculpture

Peter Lange's Brick Wiggle Chair (Image from Masterworks Gallery)
Peter Lange’s Brick Wiggle Chair
(Image from Masterworks Gallery)

Sculpture is the art of the hole and the lump. (Auguste Rodin)

So, this year’s Sculpture by the Sea at Bondi is almost upon us. It’s one of those fab’ public exhibitions that Sydney does so well. I look forward to it every year. The Jacaranda are flowering here in Sydney and it feels like summer is well on its way. It must be time for Sculptures by the Sea…

One sculptor whose work I quite like, and who is not exhibiting in this years sculpture walk, is Peter Lange. A New Zealand ceramic artist, he taught himself pottery in the 1970s.

I’m a fan of trompe l’oeil. I like the humour and whimsy of it. And Lange brings this to his work. He started his slip-cast trompe l’oeil sculpture in the mid 1980s, after an encounter with Richard Shaw, a recognised master of trompe l’oeil sculpture.

Lange gained notoriety in 2002 for building an Anagama Boat. Apparently he was  investigating the motto “if you throw it in the water and it sinks, then it’s art… if it floats it’s craft”. Intrigued by the resemblance of the interior of an Anagama kiln to an inverted boat, Lange set out to prove that an inverted kiln could float.

Peter Lange's Brick Boat
Peter Lange on his Brick Boat
(Image from Ceramics Today)

In August of this year, he installed three giant brick kumara (that’s New Zealand sweet potato, for the uninitiated!) on Mt Eden Road in Auckland. The work is called ‘Tahuri’, after a legendary Māori gardener known for her fabulous kumara. The work was sponsored by Eden Arts, a lovely group of people committed to promoting the arts in Mt Eden (a suburb of Auckland).

Peter Lange's 'Tahuri' (kumara) (Image from Eden Arts)
Peter Lange’s ‘Tahuri’ (kumara)
(Image from Eden Arts)
Peter Lange's 'Tahuri' (kumara) (Image from GCCG)
Peter Lange’s ‘Tahuri’ (kumara)
(Image from GCCG)

In my wee investigation of the talented Mr Lange, I found that Masterworks Gallery in Auckland has some of his work available. I imagine they are quite heavy and expensive to ship, but if one lived in Auckland…

Peter Lange's Deckchairs (Image from Masterworks Gallery)
Peter Lange’s Deckchairs
(Image from Masterworks Gallery)
Peter Lange's Brick Chair (Image from Masterworks Gallery)
Peter Lange’s Brick Chair
(Image from Masterworks Gallery)

If you’d like to see more examples of Peter Lange’s work, he has some great images on his website here.

Sculpture by the Sea (Bondi) runs from 24 October to 10 November 2013. If you’d like more details, check out the website here.

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