Nick Hornby’s work might look familiar. But that’s very much the point. Each segment of his casts reveals an iconic piece of modern sculpture -- ”a quotation”, says Hornby (pictured below alongside The Horizon Comes). As the viewer circles the works, the recognisable fragments dissolve and create a new form. “All that matters is what the viewer gets from it,” says Hornby. “The dream is someone recognises and says it looks like a Rodin. But yesterday someone said one piece looked like an elephant.”
Hornby, 30, starts each piece with a very specific reference, either photographs he takes at the V&A’s cast gallery or a page from Herbert Read’s 1964 opus, Modern Sculpture. He traces these images on a computer and creates a CAD render -- “a very long process of forcing things together which don’t necessarily fit”. The composite of three cut-outs produces a six-sided shape; each source reveals two perspectives. The components are carved from an expanded rectilinear polystyrene block with a hot wire, “almost like an instant classical sculpture”, explains Hornby. He then rebuilds the pieces with an internal structure, before casting the final, assembled sculpture in traditional plaster.