Sunderland artist creates Olypmics sculptures

Dated: 19/09/2011'Sunderland  University Graduate Michelle Castles who is now a successful artist pictured with some of her sculptures at the Sunderland University Industry Centre ...'Fao Tony Kerr, Sunderland University ... #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia *** Local Caption ***
Dated: 19/09/2011'Sunderland University Graduate Michelle Castles who is now a successful artist pictured with some of her sculptures at the Sunderland University Industry Centre ...'Fao Tony Kerr, Sunderland University ... #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia *** Local Caption ***
0
Have your say

OLYMPIC-inspired works of art have been created by a Wearside artist as the countdown to this summer’s games continues.

Sunderland University graduate Michelle Castles, 37, has produced 68 wire mesh athletes.

Each sculpture depicts competitors frozen in various sporting poses.

The display will mark the end of many years of hard work and Michelle has mixed feelings as the project nears its conclusion.

She said: “I had the initial idea about five or six years ago, so it’s been a long time between having the idea and finishing it.

“There’ll be mixed feelings when the display is open, because I am getting quite tired now. I can see it in my mind’s eye. Hopefully it ends up looking the same in reality.”

There are still six weeks left of the process that Michelle says has been “an obsession”, before the sculptures take their place at the Biscuit Factory gallery in Newcastle.

They have been made specifically to fit the gallery and will emerge from walls, hang from wooden beams and leap across the space.

While sport clearly inspired the subject matter, the material used came from a slightly different hobby of Michelle’s.

“I like bending things,” she said, explaining one of the reasons she chose to work with wire mesh. “I also love the translucency of the material and it’s strong, but very lightweight.

“It sounds like a lot of figures, but they don’t dominate the space the same way they would if they were made of bronze. They blend into it because you can see the space through them.”

Rachel Brown, gallery manager, said: “Michelle’s show is a true spectacle and testament to creative drive and ambition.

“Much like the athletes she has captured in steel form, her approach to the exhibition has involved meticulous preparation and honing a skill over a period of years.”

Michelle’s exhibition will run from June 8 and mark the first time the gallery has hosted an installation rather than simply an exhibition.

Twitter: @sunechomark