David McCracken

Orange Bomb
Stainless steel, paint
H 1200 X 600mm X 600mm
Proudly presented in association with Gow Langsford Gallery

David McCraken’s Orange Bomb was born out of an admiration for the aerodynamic purity and formal beauty of the 'grand slam' bombs and rockets designed by Barnes Wallace during World War II.

As McCraken himself says: “I have a strong drive to make beautiful objects...I see the language of objects as immeasurably rich and deep.” There lies an awful gravitas to the context of our understanding of this particular object; what the sculpture signifies and the inherent intention of a bomb. McCraken, however, sees the language of form and object as as a struggle between a shape’s literal and figurative connotations. His intention is to make work that contains – in fact is built around a fundamental contradiction – in this case between material, vernacular and form. “I have found that this allows viewers to project meaning onto the object in a way that encourages a feeling of surprise and profundity”. Orange Bomb is simply a shape - not a bomb, but the shape of a bomb. The work is given the timbre to become something both profound and banal.

By subverting the purpose of the bomb in to pure aesthetic sculpture, McCraken highlights a particular interest in materiality and process. The purpose built, aerodynamic projectile appears crinkly and inflated, a result of his hydro-expanding the material. The welded, fabricated stainless steel is inflated with water and highly pressurised, becoming almost comical in its toy-like appearance. Through highly saturated citrus colour, he transforms the emotional signature of the object, using the colour of school uniforms, socks and jumpers. One of McCracken’s greatest inspirations is his daughter, a budding cartoonist. He says that he is “constantly amazed by her process, which is so reduced, but efficient at conveying ideas and emotions... the opposite of what I do”.


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