Self-taught Australian artist Jordan Sprigg brings worn metal to life with his elaborate sculptures, which meld old machine parts, forgone tools, and miscellaneous farm scraps into creatures of the animal kingdom with feathers, fur, and all. The creations are true to size, carrying the staggering majesty of the beasts themselves with elaborate detail and careful craft.
To explain his choice of material, Sprigg told ABC, “I am a farmer's son, so I used what I could and I found it to be quite helpful making art — and it's cheap.” His process, however, is anything but simple. The construction of The Narembeen Hawk, for example, took 260 hours. The bird has a vast 2.5-meter wingspan, consisting of around 1,000 individually cut feathers, and its rendering has the magnificent movement and menace of a true hawk in flight. Another sculpture called Red Thunder is modeled after an Arabian stallion. With gears cleverly fashioned into knees, it poses with hoofs perched mid-trot in a wheat field, mane and tail seeming to flow in the breeze.
In each piece, the intricate alignments of individual rusted parts seem to pay homage to the grandeur of the animals, representing the stunning facets of their fine plumes and pelts, but also the inner muscular complexity that gives them strength and speed.
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My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Jordan Sprigg.