“Blackness is a property, not a quality” Richard Serra.
Recently Richard Serra has been on my art hit list. Looking at public art, it has hard to see past him, his work is solid, demanding and ‘complexingly’ simple. I have a loan of a beautiful book to read from my pal Jane Richard Serra Drawings.
I suppose coming from a blacksmith’s daughter, steel was a material sheet-rolled into my psyche. I watched my dad melt lead and instead of flinging against a wall like Serra, he poured it into molds for sinkers. He curved steel in the shed to form horse shoes, like Serra curving lines within a room. Most of the time I was forbidden to go into the work shed, but I would don the Ned Kelly welding helmet, smelly and sweaty. I would wave my stig wand and pretend to make steel glow.
Unfortunately Dad never got around to see my (very inept) welding skills and I think he would have loved Serra as much as me, he could have explained the properties and the logistics. I recently looked at making a sculpture on the scale of a Serra and was excited to see a drawing materialise, if only in Photoshop as a huge monolith, emerging from my lake.