Bog Bodies in Bronze
My curiousity about bog bodies is based in trying to understand how these people, although long gone from this earth, are still here with us 'in the flesh'.
I began my study by observing and sketching the bodies in museums, Tollund Man, Graubelle Man in Denmark and Germany, Cloney Cavan Man, and several others in the National Museum of Ireland.
After sketching, I decided that I needed to create three-dimensional versions and began to explore how I could do that authentically. I choose to cast them in bronze because of it's permanance. Moreover, this process parallels the life cycle of the bog body. The wax model when finished is buried in several layers of sand and scilica as it is dipped, dried and repeated. This builds up a heavy coating over time and the wax body is completely encased in layers. This is similar to how the body in the bog is buried under several layers of turf over a period of time.
When the bog body gets discovered and reintroduced into the world the body is still there, it has changed and yet it is the same person. The wax model gets put in a burn out chamber and the wax is removed and then bronze poured into the casing. When cool the casing is then broken away to reveal the bronze bog body. In a similar way the actual bog body is buried in the bog (I equate this with the burn out chamber) but people don't know where they are until they are suddenly discovered and then all the archeologist come aboard and spend their time researching and cleaning the body.
The cleaning and presenting the bronze sculpture can be compared to this latter process.
I plan to make some visuals with left over casings from the bronze cast process and in some of my current pieces I have surrounded them with turf from the bogs of Ireland.