2 Mar 2016

Art in Interiors: Sculpture as a Décor Element

A sculpture is a beautiful way to alter the dynamics of the space and add an interesting facet to it. The aesthetics (form, material and the concept) of the artwork, interplay of light, its interaction with the surroundings contribute in transforming the space. Being three dimensional, large sized sculptures require more space when displayed in homes - either inside living areas or outside in the open. As opposed to a painting, which is displayed on a wall, a sculpture is placed on a pedestal or directly on the floor and therefore requires special considerations in terms of space and visual impact.

"Of Sounds and Silences" by Raviram Ramakrishnan, Image courtesy Galerie de' arts, Sculpture in decor
Sculpture by Raviraam Ramakrishnan
 A large sculpture placed in any space will interact with it in multiple ways, also because of its extra dimension, which allows it to be viewed from all sides. It would be advisable to place the sculpture in an area which is clear and clutter free, has high visibility and is relatively traffic free. The style and the material are important in deciding where to display the sculpture.

In a garden or terrace, a sculpture can be integrated into the landscaping to create a cohesive and enhanced impact. The important thing to consider when displaying a sculpture in the open is to ensure that it is made of a material which is weather resistant. For instance, stone such as marble or granite, fiberglass, terracotta, and metals which have been specially treated are ideal for the outdoors. When displaying in the outdoors, a sculpture could complement the exteriors better if it is directly placed on a surface - ground, parapet, ledge, etc. Alternately, a pedestal which is made of natural material will enhance harmony between the sculpture and the setting.
Sculpture in decor, Art Scene India
Life size statues are hugely popular as outdoor sculptures. Traditional forms of sculpture are ideal for displaying in the garden; for instance human, animal and mythological figures. Themes which are based on outdoor subjects are suitable – these could be folk, rural or contemporary. A traditional sculpture can be a reminder of stone and rock art from ancient monuments and heritage buildings and help recreate a sense of historicity.

Conceptual pieces in stainless steel or multimedia sculptures are ideal for the terrace or the centre of the garden, and can form interesting anchor points for conversation during garden parties and other gatherings.

It is also essential to consider both natural lighting and spotlights when exhibiting these artworks in open spaces. All artificial lighting must be strategically placed to bring out the features of the sculpture, yet avoid creating a harsh or glaring effect. The illumination should be appropriate to bring out details of carvings, relief work, planes, shadows and textures.

The writer is an art consultant

This article was published in The Times of India-The Address recently.

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