The sculptures that I have been working on for Caernarfon castle over the past 2 years or so have been completed and installed.
The stone sculptures are inspired by the craftsmen who would have worked on the castle, one of the finest examples of its type, built in the middle ages. On entering the castle, you will first see the Master Builders hands. Constructed and carved from 20 pieces of sandstone, the bands of stone replicating the stripes of red and buff coloured stone that Caernarfon castle was constructed with hundreds of years ago. Initially weighing 14 tonnes, the complex sculpture, based on my own hands, weighed about 8 tonnes when it was installed. The hands carefully hold a bronze replica model of the castle.
As you explore the castle further, you will find the Labourers hands. These are created from 20 tonnes of rugged sandstone boulders which have been split and shaped to replicate a giant hand. This sculpture has a very earthy feel, as if the stone has just been extracted from the earth. Surrounding the sculpture are tools created by a blacksmith. These are the tools of a labourer and include spades, hammers and rock splitting wedges.
My final sculpture for the project is located on the 1st floor of the newly constructed Kings Tower. This sculpture represents the Stonemasons hand. It is designed so that it appears to have been created from parts of stone masonry used in the creation of the castle. Things like the spiral staircase, coping stones, pieces of arched vaults as well as an iconic eagle akin to one that may have been perched atop of the eagle tower.
All 3 sculptures are very different in their nature but hopefully capture the essence of the skill of the craftsmen who they represent. Elsewhere in the castle, you will find further sculptures created by carpenters, blacksmiths and other trades that would have helped build this most impressive of constructions.