David McCracken Towards a Better World, 2019
304 stainless steel, polished and partially painted, 1100 x 1100 x 3400 mm.
This is the latest development of a body of work I began over a decade ago. Towards a Better World refers in part to the idealised illustrations that I recall from sci-fi publications of the fifties and sixties, largely aimed at young boys and which seemed to carry a literal interpretation – the rocket could actually be going to a ‘better world’. I find the forms of the early rockets and missiles irresistibly attractive as well as the aerodynamic bombs developed by Barnes Wallace during the second world war, and want to represent this attractiveness as the boyish obsession that it is. Hence the automotive glamour of polished metal and bright paint. After discovering that the V2 rockets deployed against the allies during WW2 began their development as the projects of idealistic German scientists who wanted to build vehicles for space travel, I made these morally ambiguous objects as optimistic and outward looking, with a view to a darker more sinister body of work to come.
David McCracken began exhibiting in 2000 and describes his process as honouring or elevating a humble or utilitarian form into a memorable object. He is continually developing his sculptural vocabulary and trying new techniques, for example hydroforming steel into complex compound forms with hydrostatic pressure. All these techniques are economical in terms using of the least number of actions possible, and ‘analogue in spirit’. McCracken exhibits nationally and internationally and has received a number of awards including the Parsons & Brinckerhoff Award for Excellence in Engineering (2013) and Wallace Arts Trust Awards (2013, 2014). His sculptures have been included in many outdoor exhibitions including Headland Sculpture on the Gulf, Waiheke Island; Shapeshifter, Wellington; Sculpture in the Gardens, Auckland; and Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi Beach, Sydney. Represented by Gow Langsford Gallery www.gowlangsfordgallery.co.nz.