It has to be a sheer genius to translate the intricacies and delicate details of natural forms and structures into metal while retaining the same delicacy and fineness. This scientific illustrator turned metal sculptor, does exactly that. She’s Penny Hardy, a British artist, who has a way to breathe life into metal.
Using discarded machinery parts, this Devon-based artist constructs life-size metal sculptures that not only reflect the intricacies and delicateness of the human body but appear to display human emotions too. This aspect is in full display in her ‘Blown Away’ series. But, why the discarded machine parts?
Speaking to mymodernmet.com, Hardy explains, “By using discarded man-made metal items – which have been so skillfully made and used to create their own mechanical energy – I hope to extend their life in another form, re-use that energy for a different purpose, and exchange their function to create a new entity.”
What’s most surprising is Hardy is completely self-taught in metal sculpting. Her grounding in this form of art was made easy to her background as a scientific illustrator. It also taught her to infuse the intricacies of natural form and observational draftsmanship into her metal sculptures. She further honed her creativity by working alongside architects and designers. This introduced her to 3D forms.
Hardy feels for the strong and resilient crafted pieces of metal she uses in her sculptures and rues the fact that these metal machinery parts get discarded at the slightest pretext of failure. This is her way to resurrect them and showcase the influence her sculptures have on people and the environment. Her fluid and flowing forms display visible and tangible energy. It’s no surprise that people relate to her metal sculptures and feel the emotions being conveyed. According to her, the sense of movement and dynamics within sculpture provides it with its own life and vitality.
Hardy’s metal sculptures have been exhibited extensively throughout the UK. She held her first public exhibition of dance sculptures in 2006. She also takes up private work on the commission basis and has been commissioned by countries like Italy, France, Belgium, and the USA.