I mainly work on commissions for public art. When trying to choose the most appropriate material for a particular project, it is the diversity and character of particular locations, and the different types of architecture, that result in the wide range of materials that I use. Computer calculation has become unavoidable for some of my structural sculptures. For example, it would have been impossible to construct the sculpture; Freedom; in the Bank Center, Ballsbridge in Dublin without a specially designed computer programme.
My architectural-engineering and town-planning background has proven helpful to me when designing sculptures, as well as in my search for new materials and new methods of execution. It also helps me to feel and understand the architects’ intentions and enables me to easily read technical drawings throughout all the stages of the design, thus facilitating the visualisation of my own artistic design within this framework. In particular, this gives me guidance on how to adjust my work harmoniously to the given environment. This applies to any size of art work from the smallest to the largest! I strongly believe that the search for and use of new materials, as well as the resulting technical solutions helps the artist to develop new ideas in art.
In the case of large sculptures I am used to working with architects, structural engineers and quantity surveyors, from the moment of commissioning the esquisse by the client. A continuous collaboration with the structural engineers is very important. I like my sculptures to have special visual qualities which I pursue relentlessly from the earliest sketches. The desired effects can be achieved by conscious reductions in certain parts of the sculpture, and in particular focal structural points, where the safety factor becomes reduced to a barely acceptable minimum.
Then the sculpture begins to resonate with inner energies and becomes dynamic! These seemingly small reductions often require a lot of long and detailed calculations. I need therefore to work with a good structural engineer who also possesses some feeling for art. I also like to introduce technical innovations. In practically all my large sculptures I have introduced new methods, which at least to my knowledge were not used before. I like simplicity of form and construction and I like smooth surfaces; this as a result, imposes perfection in execution which is often difficult to achieve.
– Alexandra Wejchert