Museum of Brisbane

In the spotlight: Stephen Hart

On 2 March we say goodbye to Fellow Humans. Sculptor Stephen Hart shares some of the process behind the exhibition.

Stephen Hart blog image

Tell us a little about your concept for Fellow Humans.

As the earth’s population approaches eight billion, I am focused on how very interdependent we are on one another to sustain a civil society. Fellow Humans attempts to emphasise the value of the human circle we each gather around us to sustain our sense of worth in the increasingly crowded and hence complex world we live in, now.

How did you choose your subject?

My subjects started from the people closest to me – family, friends, creative colleagues, people of interest to me. The choice of course was endless, but because each piece was entirely hand made, this slow production process limited who could be included. I do hope in time I will be able to enlarge that selection, and in fact I conceived of Fellow Humans as a “never ending project”.

How long did it take you to create each sculpture?  

I spent at least two months working out a methodology to render each figure as “believable” as I was capable of making. I worked on the group over a two year period, so it was at least a month to make the maquette and carve and polychrome its enlarged version.

How does it feel to see the full exhibition in Museum of Brisbane?

The project and its physical and mental demands, at times felt like rowing a boat solo across a vast ocean. So to finish the work, and in conjunction with the Museum’s professional expertise, put it into the public arena has been a huge satisfaction.

What’s next for you?  

Yes, an excellent question. I’m back in the studio working that one out now. No matter how much work I have made, new work is always like starting from scratch. To put it as simply as I can, I’m working with newsprint imagery and various methods of construction to create a piece that I hope will surprise and excite me and others.

Meet Stephen Hart and curator, Peter Denham in conversation with writer, Alison Kubler, this Thursday to learn more about the process and vision behind Fellow Humans.

Thursday 27 February 11am. Free. Booking advised.