Assembly

2004
Cast iron, Mild steel
60 x 188 x 30 cm
Edition of 4

Embedded in all of us is the ability to recognise and read the human figure from a minimal amount of visual information. In this work Burke has sought to depict a collective human presence with a series of defined spaces. Sixteen partial body moulds have been arranged as if coming together with the tightest concentration of figures in the middle of the group.The material and forms draw on the artist's early involvement with engineering practice, and an appreciation of the aesthetic properties of functional engineering construction. The cast forms have been designed to be industrially produced and repeated to reflect the use of industrial production methods and are bolted together using the convention for the joining of castings. Each figure is suggested by three out of the possible four assembled mould sections of a body cast, allowing the viewer visual entry and an opportunity to perceive it from the outside in, as if casting ones own body. Assembly acknowledges that there is a tension between the reading of an image of the human form and the affect that the physicality of materials and process have on that understanding. The work was conceived as an assembly of persons, of parts, and spaces, which can finally be assembled by the viewer.

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About The Artist

The human form is often central to Peter Burke’s sculpture, as with Antony Gormley, who began working at a similar time, Burke often uses casts of a model to express a sense of universality in his sculpture. Working in steel and iron, using industrial processes, Burke’s engineering background has strongly informed his working practice. His work often reflects mankind’s relationship with mass–production and standardisation through a rhythm and repetition of materials.

Peter Burke

Born: 1944

Other Artworks by Peter Burke at CASS

1996

Host

The work Host is a horizontal work composed of a number of human scale vertical sculptures that follow the undulations o…

2003

Janus Head

A continuation of Burke’s preoccupation with humanity, Janus Head is an investigation of the space occupied by the human…

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