Renowned outdoor sculptor Terrance Plowright reveals the pain-staking processes that he toils through to create his stunning works of art.
In the Building | 1.2 life-size, cast bronze
IN THE BUILDING
As luck would have it, Terrance Plowright only entered the competition because a friend had sent him a note asking if he was aware a commission to sculpt Elvis was up for grabs. Plowright admits that he is not a great fan of competitions, so he was especially surprised on receiving a call and being told “You’ve won!”
On choosing the pose, one photograph of interest was provided, with the agreement that when it came to the face the smile had to be big and recognisable. In addition, the sculpture was to be smooth and polished.
As Plowright progressed through his initial 3D sketches, sculpting face after face, head after head, he arrived at the fifth version, the face and head on the sculpture now installed. However, he also created the sixth bust, but unfortunately, this was cast too late to be a part of the sculpture now installed.
His strong desire was to bring Elvis to life as a mature person and match his looks at around the age of 35, within the period in which he wore the famous jumpsuit currently adorning the sculpture today.
Every now and then one arrives at a point within a project that develops into a struggle, and this was certainly one of those projects for Plowright. Over the many months of carving and subtly changing aspects of the pose, he pulled his shoulders apart four times, moved his hips three times, created six heads in clay and cast his body and two heads in bronze. All via an intense need to get it right and within a very limited time frame; five months from start to installation. He had asked for eight due to another project on the go.
The work has been installed on the corner of Cooke Park, at the entrance of the City of Parkes in NSW. Parkes is home to the now renowned international festival, celebrating Elvis Presley’s life and music and each year drawing a crowd of around 25,000 people.
The work was unveiled on Saturday the 13th of January by the Governor of NSW, General David Hurley. Also in attendance were Federal and State Members of Parliament, the Mayor of Parkes and representatives of Parkes Council, the Elvis committee, the acting Consular General from the United States, and many thousands from the Elvis Festival.
THERE’S ALWAYS ONE
This work was created late 2017 to be exhibited this year in Sydney, and is currently for sale. It is based on a series of designs Plowright completed around 10 years ago. He hopes the title speaks for itself.
There’s Always One | 3 metres high, brass plated steel
THE GOLD MINERS
This project was undertaken for the Peak Hill gold mine museum in NSW. The figures are slightly larger than life size and sit at the entrance of the exhibition.
Plowright reflected on the fun he had creating such a “higgledy-piggledy mishmash”, consisting of thousands of rectangular pieces welded together in order to form up impressionistic human figures.
The Gold Miners | Plate steel, approximately 2,500 pieces, patination Japanese brown