PROJECT: St Johns Public Art
SECTORS: Commercial / Public Art- Sculpture
SERVICES: Design & Construction
CLIENT: Inland Homes
Following approval from the Local Planning Authority D F Clark were commissioned to construct a bespoke dragonfly sculpture. This is a symbol of the ecological value of the site conserved and enhanced through green space of wildlife friendly planting as well as restoration of an existing natural pond.
The sculpture is a representation of the male Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator), one of Britains largest Dragonfly at circa 80mm long. The sculpture is over 200 times the size of a real Emperor measuring at over 1.8m long with a wing span of 1.8m wide.
Designed to have a natural appearance while being robust and durable, the head, thorax & abdomen were carved out of laminated Sapele hardwood. The wings formed from laser cut Corten steel and the legs from 8mm & 12mm steel reinforcement bars. Within a couple of hours of soaking with water the Corten steel began to oxidise turning from cold grey to the warm rust colour Corten is famously used for. This natural oxidisation process not only transforms the texture and colour but forms a protective layer which seals the steel protecting it from further weathering and rusting through.
Texture and shadow to the timber work was added through hand calving of the eye pattern and abdomen markings, with detail further depicted through hand painting in two tone colours associated with the male Emperor Dragonfly.
The piece was then treated with wax oil to protect the timber whilst extensions were added to its feet to allow for root fixing into the ground. The dragonfly was set and secured into place facing towards the restored pond 50m away.