Although metal is often seen as a cold and hard medium, one artist has found a way to breathe life into the material, allowing it to appear loose and free. In her Blown Away series, British artist Penny Hardy constructs life-size metal sculptures made from discarded machinery that’s based on the human body, each one exploring an emotion or experience. The Devon-based artist says, “By using discarded man-made metal items—which have been so skillfully made and used to create their own mechanical energy—I hope to extend their life in another form, re-use that energy for a different purpose, and exchange their function to create a new entity.”
Hardy originally trained as a scientific illustrator, which taught her to examine the intricacies of natural forms and observational draftsmanship. When an interest in three-dimensional forms was sparked, she transferred her strong connection to the natural and human landscape into sculpture. “The sense of movement and dynamics within sculpture provides it with its own life and vitality,” Hardy states. She chose to use metal machinery parts because they were made to be resilient and strong, yet thrown away at the slightest hint of failure. Hardy felt that these imperfect pieces should be recycled to show some of the effects machinery have had on our lives and the environment.
“While these pieces convey personal emotions relating to my own particular experiences,” Hardy says, “the sculptures are not exclusive and I hope many viewers will be able to relate to those feelings and effects and see how the piece can represent for them.”
Hardy creates privately commissioned work for clients across the globe. She has also exhibited throughout the UK. Most recently, she’s displayed her striking work at the Beaulieu Palace and Gardens earlier this year. Scroll down to see some of her remarkable creations.
British artist Penny Hardy uses discarded machinery parts to build life-size sculptures pulsating with energy.
By using the human body as a framework for the metal pieces, Hardy portrays fundamental emotions and personal experiences.
Hardy hopes to extend the life of imperfect man-made items by reusing them to create new entities.
My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Penny Hardy.