The nature of my sculpture, abstract forms from found objects, does not readily lend itself to producing a commissioned piece of work. Hence when I received a request to make a plaque signifying the French second world war resistance movement, I was unsure whether to accept.
Normally my inspiration comes from the objects I find. I am continually on the lookout for materials of any sort that interest me. It is the object that seems to give me the idea for a sculpture or at least the object acts as a catalyst to my imagination. This process has a temporal element to it, in that sometimes I immediately know what the discovered item will become or more frequently my mind slowly works out the final nature the found piece will become.
This request was from a local detectorist who is very interested in the history of the French resistance movement and who, for some time, has been supplying me with found objects of no real interest to him but fascinating to me. It seemed only fair therefore that I should make something for this friend of mine.
I asked him what elements were essential for the plaque and then tried to incorporate them into a cohesive sculptural form but with a slightly abstract twist.
Essentially the plaque contains the V shape representing the strive for victory, the resistance cross and the initials and date of the FFI (Forces Françaises Interieur).
All the pieces of the work were made from metal apart from the block of wood which acts as a base for the piece.
I decided that it would be appropriate to use the colours of the French tricolour flag and hence the plaque is a red ‘V’ shaped piece of metal cut from an ancient oil drum with white lettering mounted on a blue diamond from an old motorcar body. I attached a resistance cross to the the red ‘V’ which was again made of metal but very roughly cut to indicate the struggle faced by the resistance movement. This metal was unpainted and was left in this state to add a little contrast.
My friend was very pleased with the finished plaque and it was an interesting and different project for me.