Sculptor Will Carr explains his art and how he creates his impressive kinetic wind sculptures
The kinetic wind sculptures that I create bring to life the hidden forces surrounding us in an ever-changing dance. In such a complex world it is more important than ever to feel connected to, and understand, the environment we inhabit. The sculptures glint in the sun as they move, reflecting the beauty of our shared world, and bringing a spark of joy to their surroundings.
My love of paragliding has given me a deep understanding of weather and wind flow, which combined with my background in engineering, has made the progression from static to kinetic sculptures a natural one.
For me, play is both an important part of my life, and a crucial element in learning to understand the physics of the world. Using experimentation to explore fluid dynamics, hidden forces, and patterns in nature allows me to better understand their interactions. This exploration directly informs my understanding of how to create kinetic sculptures that move consistently, in varying patterns, in even the lightest of winds. This play continues throughout each sculpture’s development, with computer modelling, and with actual models tested in the wind.
Living and semi management of our family farm in the countryside for most of my life has given me a truly deep connection to, and inherent understanding of, the complexities of the natural system we inhabit. My lust for spending time in nature continues through my other hobbies: paragliding, climbing, camping, and multi-day hiking, all of which require a hands-on relationship with the natural world, and complement my understanding of it.
Using stainless steel and Corten metal I’m able to create intricate, large scale pieces of contemporary art for installation in public spaces, private gardens, and sculpture exhibitions. I work with a variety of specialists where required, and have completed outdoor sculpture commissions for universities, schools, and galleries. These sculptures have a worldwide audience, and alongside UK work I have completed several international commissions.
I endeavor to bring to life the hidden forces of nature, showing off the beauty of mathematics and science interacting with the environment, whilst connecting people with their surroundings.
The process of designing a wind sculpture involves lots of sketching, often in the woods or round a camp fire, being in nature is very important in my design process. This then moves to cardboard which allows me to move the forms around to see the sculpture in various positions, this also allows me to project it larger to check the scale when scaled up. A smaller rough working model is often made at this stage in mild steel which I watch in the wind. After this I take it in to the computer which take months of work to refine it and balance it. The balancing is done in the computer generally, with fine tuning during the physical creating. After I am happy with the design have it laser cut and then I assemble it. Sometimes at this stage I have to go back in to the computer and recut too to improve its geometry.
Inspiration for my sculptures comes from studying fluid dynamics. I often meet up with friends and make fun things in my workshop, from 5m high tornados to giant smoke rings, all helping me understand the flows and interactions in nature. My hobbies are also very important to being able to understand how the air moves, Paraglding being one of my main hobbies involves understanding how the air interacts with the environment making thermals and rotor.