Born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Cathy Wilkes trained at Glasgow School of Art and is part of the generation of artists who emerged in the mid-1990s. Wilkes is primarily known for her large-scale installations of seemingly disparate objects, many of which are distressed, damaged, altered or adapted.
Over the last few years, we have created dozens of molds and subsequent castings, all to the artist precise requirements, which have been displayed around the world, including her submission to the British Pavilion in Venice in 2019. Her most ambitious project was 1.5-metre tall recreation of a small vinyl pony toy from her childhood.
On paper, this seemed like a simple enough task, but we learned that the desired casting would have very particular requirements.
Firstly, it needed to have a single seam line, meaning a 2-part mold was the only course of action.
Secondly, the casting needed to be hollow, semi-translucent and semi-flexible, as this was the properties of the vintage toy on which the work was inspired.
And lastly, it was insisted that the casting required no post-processing after molding, meaning that the cast would be the finished piece!
All 3 of these requirements were contrary to what we would like to have done, but the challenge was accepted and the results pleased the artist, so much that she has returned to us every year since to completely molding and casting work.
The Modern Institute, Aird's Lane, Glasgow 2016
Just a sample few of the mammoth task of molding and casting this piece. The molds were made over a 2 week period, with the casting being completed in a continuous 12 hour process.