Liam exhibited his Year 12 Visual Arts project alongside his peers at Faith’s Twilight Collective event. For Liam, this was no small project, with an estimated 250 hours spent creating a masterpiece of carefully constructed metal to form a breath-taking Dragon sculpture using reclaimed farm machinery.
Liam’s passion for metalwork was ignited in Year 10 when he undertook a Blacksmith course, leading to the creation of a small sculpture in Year 11. It was then that Liam decided he wanted to create “something big” in Year 12. Working with Angaston based sculptor and mentor, Tony Howard, Liam started by welding a few pieces together. It “grew from there” and his handiwork developed first into a foot, then a leg, and he was on his way to creating his own Dragon, a mythical creature Liam has always admired, standing 4 metres high with a wing span of over 5 metres; this is a sculpture of epic proportions!
The sculpture construction commenced in November 2018 and has not arrived without various challenges. Sourcing materials from his farm and neighbouring farms, Liam found one of the biggest challenges has been keeping his creation symmetrical. Elements include reclaimed truck rim drums, harvester conditioners and intricate pieces of old machinery, long rested from heavy working days on the farm. Working on the head of the Dragon has been a highlight for Liam, the teeth were carefully modelled and cast in stainless steel to create a captivating focal point. Apart from the teeth, Liam estimates only three pieces of machinery were cut to fit their place, every other part of the sculpture has been carefully added in its entirety, rather like a giant 3D puzzle.
Adding to the significance of this project, Liam reflects on the Dragon being more than a mythical creature, but also a symbol of immortality. Engraved into the sculpture are the names of people who have influenced Liam and left a lasting impression, shaping his journey so far; “They become immortal, more than a name or a memory, they are welded in steel forever.”