I-beams, Z-purlins, T-sections and C-sections are some of the basic forms of steel bar used in industrial construction work. Whether hidden from view by the cladding of a skyscraper or left as part of the aesthetic of engineered structures these forms are integral to most of our built environment.
The principles of engineering, the history of physics and a passion for metals lie at the heart of Mark Firth's practice, and in Primary Sections he brings together these concerns with his skill in manipulating form within tight parameters, in this case the cube. Firth is very much a physical sculptor, and spends much time at his lathe, cutting and rotating metal into forms which retain their original, usually geometric reference. He responds to the cut and twist intuitively, and in this way he discovered his subject-matter for Primary Sections. Scale is important in this sculpture as Firth required that a tall person should be able to see over the top, but also that it should be large enough to make you feel that the C-section might envelop you, therefore giving an architectural quality to the work. The corten steel has been left to weather naturally so that the immaculate welding in itself defines the form.