Peter Syndicas’ sculptures are inspired by his fascination with organic shapes in their simplest forms — fractals of nature. Twigs — fragile, precious, shaped by the elements. Delicately carved, the revealed forms are translated on a magnified scale and immortalised in bronze, steel or stone — a stark contrast to their fragile nature.
Syndicas has had no institutional training as a sculptor. He innovated his techniques mainly through trial and error and an ambition to recreate these forms of his on a grander scale. Over the years he has become quite proficient in a wide variety of mediums and has a special passion for working in stone. In particular he has focussed specifically on working in varieties of Australian marbles, granites and stromatolites.
What’s a Stromatolite?
Stromatolites are the earliest fossil evidence of life on Earth. They were the first known organisms to photosynthesis and produce oxygen. The examples used in these sculptures date from a period 750 million years ago.
Syndicas continues to explore his fascination of fractals in nature and takes great pleasure in the fact that he has an infinite source of inspiration surrounding him.
The sculpture pictured here was created from a twig collected by the “Shady Pool” at Hans Heysens Cedars Estate in Hahndorf.
I start my process by selecting a large variety of branches and twigs from a particular location. I find the most significant and often most difficult part of my process is by far the culling of the final twigs. It’s difficult to describe just what it is that draws me to the final selected forms. All I can say is that after doing this for over 25 years I still get so excited when I find a striking form.
I then use the selected twig as my maquette and replicate the forms on a magnified scale, often 10 to 20 times larger than the original size of the twig.
The favoured mediums that I like to work in are bronze, woven and welded steel and stone.
This sculpture “The Shady Pool” is made from solid cast bronze. The finished sculpture was highly polished and sealed. It can found located in the actual Shady Pool where the original twig was collected as part of the permanent collection at the Cedars estate.
This sculpture won the peoples choice award at the 2012 Heysen Sculpture Biennial.
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