Sculptures by the Sea
“A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist.”
R. Buckminster Fuller
Creativity and innovation are not only the work of e2 but also its passions. Alex Ritchie, Group Managing Director and Creative Director has been actively practising as an artist and sculptor for many years. He is best known for his work exhibited at the annual Sculptures by the Sea exhibition in Sydney.
Scale, monochromatic tones, material finishes and they way in which people engage with positive and negative spaces have always played a key part in his creative thinking. His passion for minimalist geometric shapes, colours and how they can be understood and interacted with three dimensionally leads to work which is insistently abstract and sensory. The viewer activates the work by directly interacting and engaging with his sculptures.
His work Kaleidoscopic Cube, which won the Andrea Stretton Memorial Prize in 2012, was built of 16 square, mirrored columns set out in an architectural grid pattern in the middle of Tamarama beach. The optical illusion created by the reflective geometric columns shifts the viewer ambiguously between flatness, the illusion of depth and movement. The deceptively minimalist form creates an extraordinary variety of experiences of the viewers themselves, the surrounding beach, land and skyscrapers. Viewers can walk in between the columns creating playfulness, movement and light that belies the simplicity of the structural form.
Spectrum is a three-dimensional sculptural piece that divides vertically into eight 3.5metre high coloured glass blades that form a strong planar geometry and are ordered in a spectrum and sequence of hue, chroma and lightness. On a clear day with a bright blue sky or the sunset’s brilliant show of reds and oranges the varying light passing through the blades creates an ever-changing dispersion of colour through reflection, layering of lights and forms of shadow.
The transparent, tinted glass blades capture the movement of the day and shift as the viewer moves past and through the sculpture. Shapes are lost and found in an around its many planes, angles and shadows.
Alex is currently working on Genesis, a work inspired by nature and representing a sinuous and flowing continuous movement, joyful in its freedom. It is constructed around a single element built of polished metal extrusions in varying lengths with a mirrored finish. This element is repeated in a rhythmic composition to capture the movements in the reflected sky, landscape. As the viewer moves around and interacts with the sculpture at moments it is almost invisible capturing the fleeting and temporal essence of nature itself.