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Artist and designer Nic Hester develops new sculpture at CDI

Wednesday, 23 May 2018   (0 Comments)
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Artist and designer Nic Hester came to the CDI to get assistance with a new art project – creating a sculptural portrait of an ancient queen.


We chatted to him to find out more…


Tell us more about yourself, your project and what you needed help with coming to the CDI?


I am an artist and designer. I have been working on an art project which combines alternative archaeological theories and which uses modern technology to create a revised sculptural portrait of an ancient queen. Using 3D data of a scan of the bust of Nefertiti in the Berlin museum, I saw an opportunity to create a sculptural portrait of her with her crown removed exposing her elongated skull. All of the members of her family are represented as having elongated skulls and as Nefertiti is such a famous personality, I thought it would be interesting to show her as she might have looked in real life. As I wanted to create a bust which had the same dimensions as the original and this was possible through using the CNC milling machine at the CDI.


What was the vision for your product?


The vision was to create a unique one-off artwork which was to be exhibited in a gallery space. I chose to make the bust out of Yellowwood which would be beautiful and structurally strong. I have subsequently exhibited the artwork at Priest Gallery in Johannesburg and I have received a lot of positive feedback and interest. Having gone through this process I am inspired to create new ideas in the future. 


How did CDI help you achieve your goal?


It would have been very difficult for me to make the sculpture without help from the CDI. Caragh Barwise was the person at the CDI who helped me with this and together we solved all of the technical problems to create the sculpture. The main challenge was that the milling machine had a depth limit of 5cm so in order to create a bust of this size we needed to mill 8 separate pieces of wood which would then have to be put back together to create the final bust. It was fairly complicated procedure but we worked together to find solutions. I put the final bust together with help from Matt at Kramer & Son, the carpenter who advised and helped with the woodworking process.


How important is a product facility like the one the CDI offers to someone like yourself?


I think these facilities the CDI offer present an advantage to people like myself. I really appreciate that they are available and I am very grateful for all of the help and assistance I received.


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