Wired Magazine: It's a Brancusi... and a Frink – Tom Cheshire

Tom Cheshire, Wired Magazine, July 12, 2010

Download PDF


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.


Tom Cheshire