The challenge is always to use materials in a new and different way, and make them convey meaning and portray form in a manner that has not previously been seen.

Working on sculptures and land art is a chance to create unique forms. Sculptures become a part of the society in which they exist. Reflecting on the works of other contemporary sculptors Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons and Antony Gormley, it can be seen how each artist works in a diverse manner and how they are influenced by the human form and the place it occupies.

Antony Gormley is often connected to works involving the human body; ‘Angel of the North’ and ‘Planets’ are well-known examples. ‘Planets’, a piece which comprised carved boulders, drew strong connections between man and the environment as does Rogers’ work which resonates with this sentiment. Rogers works personally on large scale and in the abstract through his land art. This involves the natural landscape and diverse peoples.

Anish Kapoor’s world of abstract sculpture uses colour, shape, mirrors, geometric patterns and scale. Kapoor’s art, like Rogers’, is spread through multiple cities, allowing the public to interact with his art.

Rogers’ sculpture and land art in public spaces creates a presence which cannot be achieved within the physical constraints of a gallery or museum. Viewers encounter work they may have never intended to. ‘I Am’, Rogers’ major sculpture in the glass atrium of the Canberra International Airport, is encountered daily by thousands of people. Gormleys’ ‘Angel of the North’ is heavily viewed daily due to its location. The sculpture resides on a hill overlooking a motorway in Northeast England and is viewed by thousands of commuters each day.

Contemporary sculptor Jeff Koons also draws comparisons between his sculptures and the human form. Known for his playful, childhood nostalgia inspired pieces; like Rogers, Koons’ sculptures have travelled the world. Koons describes liking things that involve air because, “They are a symbol of us. We’re breathing machines, we’re inflatable.” ‘Balloon Dog’ is described as being eternally optimistic and regardless of its bright, multi-coloured, mirrored exterior, it appears to fit into any surrounding it is placed.

The juxtaposition between art, and the land it is presented on, can create another layer to a piece of art altogether. Many of Rogers’ works draw a connection to the land on which they stand, and often express the idea that we are a part of something bigger. From the ‘We Are’ series, which was unveiled in Venice, Italy, at the beginning of May, to Rogers’ ‘Rhythms of Life’ Land Art project; both are influenced by the interconnection of humanity through space and time. Working with a mix of human forms, land, emotions and philosophies allows a connection between the viewer and sculpture or land art that we are all capable of accessing.

Anna Henry
10 June 2017

2017-06-10-About Andrew Rogers-Life and Land