What gave you the idea to make this sculpture?
It started a couple of years ago when we were working on the big Phoenix sculpture currently in the Foyer in the Phoenix Centre. It was a very nice activity. I came up with a second sculpture because I had this piece of Carrera marble from Italy, like the Phoenix sculpture, and I thought we could do it again, because it was such a good thing to do. I proposed it to Newton Dee and they were interested in sponsoring such a project again.
How long did the last sculpture take you to make?
About a year from beginning to end. We started in Autumn, and finished in Autumn 2014. Villagers and co-workers would come over to my old workshop in Murtle Estate twice a week for an afternoon. There was a rota so everyone who wanted to could participate. We are doing the same thing here. This time, because we are working right in the village, many more people just turn up, even young children - they get curious, they want to try. It has been appreciated by many people as it is an open project and anyone can try.
So how long will this sculpture take to complete?
I think it will also take us a year. We have already completed half a year now. We hope by summer we will be finished.
Do you know where the sculpture will go?
In the centre of the Village Green where the big chestnut tree is going to be removed.
What is your own background in sculpture, Albertino?
I am self-taught really. I have done a one month’s course in Emerson College a long time ago. But I have been an artist all my life, doing these sort of things. I originally come from Brazil. I was always interested in agriculture, which first brought me over to England to work at Plow Hatch Farm with biodynamics.
So, what is this sculpture about?
It is very much open for people’s interpretation. As we work, the forms are appearing - “Ah, that could be a horse” or “That could be a fish”. As people suggest it, we just go and create that form, whatever appears out of the marble. So far there is an elephant, a ram, a fish is coming up, the head of a person, a horse, part of a human body - it is evolving. Everyone working on it decides as we go along - what they see, a shape - and we just try to bring it out more clearly. We still want to have a wee mouse somewhere, that was somebody’s suggestion. It is about the individual and the community, that is the main theme, but how you interpret it is up to you. I see it as us and the earth, with all the elements.
At some point we are going to sand and polish and create different textures, like the other sculpture. The more you polish it the more you seal it, which is important for an outside sculpture like this one. We will wax it to give it a more permanent surface. I went to Italy, to Carrera, looking for pieces of marble I could use. I had the pieces shipped back here. There are two more pieces that we have agreed to turn into sculptures in the future. So I am very much looking forward to that.