My background is in puppetry and automata and I strive to bring the sense of the uncanny that puppets engender into my sculpture. I often work with found objects, repurposing, reimagining and reviving the old into new. The idea was to play with recognisable elements and nostalgia and turn the commonplace into something unique. The result is a sculpture that turns the quintessentially British custom of Afternoon Tea into a knight in shining armour mounted on an equally well-clad steed. Surprising, yet no longer useful, much like the eclectic Victorian plate and the errant knights of fairytales. Noble, yet playful, just like Don Quixote.
This sculpture is inspired by the formidable, yet somewhat ridiculous, armour worn by knights and their horses in the heavy cavalry and in chivalric events and tournaments, and by the complex etiquette of Victorian dining silverware. I marvel at the posturing array of quirky dining tools and vessels, such as fish carvers, cream jugs, drinking game glasses and cheese-scoops, now lost in favour of simple dishwasher safe stainless steel implements. Inspired by these objects, and the inventiveness, humour and meticulous craftsmanship of the metal and silverwork, this sculpture combines, a selection of found, old and new, silverware and kitchen utensils and a chunk of modern marble kitchen counter. The biggest challenge in constructing the piece was how to join the disparate items together. I have learnt, with the help of my metal sculpture tutor, various ways to join different types of metals together from welding, lead & silver soldering, brazing to mechanical joining. The particular items that make this sculpture are certainly not Victorian but still somehow hark back to the same sensibilities, traditions, etiquette and sense of a time gone by - a homage to the errant knight.
EekNGrr (Sara Ekenger)
Holland (probably, made)
ca. 1570 (made)
Blown glass, diamond-point engraved and with silver mount
V&A collection reference number(s):
M.512-1927, LOAN:ROYALARMOUR.12-2009, 1386&A-1888, C.416-1936, CIRC.99-1961, M.24-1999, M.196-1977