Dunedin based mixed media artist Luke Calder produces work that explores notions of place, perception and experience. He has become well known for his series of strikingly modern and deceptively simple globes and hemispheres.
Calder’s artworks are inspired by his childhood fascination with maps, globes and exotic locations, far removed from his upbringing in Auckland. As a youth, he spent many hours looking at old National Geographic magazines and hunting down vintage tin globes. This early fascination for maps and globes has become fodder for the body of work he exhibits today.
Calder’s works are all hand-made from spun aluminium, painted meticulously and hand gilded. The process is slow and painstaking; the artist makes great effort to render detailed coastlines and tiny islands with precision. As the artist describes, "every land mass needs constant supervision while I coax the patina finish into life." The use of copper adds an extra element to the work, as the elegant shapes will change over time as the copper continues to react, creating an organic and unique piece of art.
Calder's sculptural globe series display further technical precision. These spheres spin effortlessly on his unique design of concealed internal bearings, which positions the piece on a tilt of 23.5 degrees, matching Earth’s current angle from the plane of its orbit around the sun.
Luke Calder's work can be identified by its ability to straddle both the fine art and interior design worlds. His globes are both abstract and familiar, negative and positive. The maps celebrate the form and shape of landscapes, without words, borders or definition of countries, triggering an appreciation of the world as a whole.
Calder has works held in private collections in New Zealand and the US. He has been awarded for his sculptures including the 2014 National Small Sculpture Prize. Calder has been commissioned to produce works for public spaces and collections including the QLDC to create a Flood Memorial Monument for Queenstown and the Dunedin Airport to produce an artwork for the terminal.
"I have always held a fascination for maps and globes. I’ve filled my house with vintage pieces and am always scouting for more, haunting junk shops and auction sites. Using these as my starting point, I’ve created something purely my own; modern, minimal globes and hemispheres which explore place, perception and experience." - Luke Calder