Generation and Interpretation of Sculptural Ideas in Large Scale Stone Sculptures Placed in Outdoor Public Spaces: An Analysis of the Stone Sculptures of Gerald Motondi Oroo.
This paper presupposes that there is no artwork, in this case, large-scale outdoor sculptural work, that is undertaken without a defined ‘intent’; the extent and description of which depends on the individual artist and the visual impact of the work. In examining artwork, such intent is often relegated to the sidelines and yet it should constitute the first line of information as to why the work was created in the first place and can form a good basis for the eventual interrogation and interpretation of the work itself by the audience. This paper seeks to delve into the intent of the artist in order to determine the genesis of his motivation and the source of his inspiration and subsequently, also to determine the extent to which the work itself is effective in propagating this intent. Although there is a reference to the expression and expressiveness of artwork as an avenue of understanding how artwork is generally viewed and visually examined, the core purpose of the study gravitates around the intent of this particular artist, his motivation and inspiration. However, in this regard, questions still abound on whether the artist’s individual intent is ‘all encompassing’ or whether there are, indeed, other factors that spur multiple interpretations from the audience that point to new meanings and, therefore, make the work more interactive and engaging. The work featured in this paper makes these arguments even more significant because firstly, they are executed by the same individual and secondly, the pieces were conceived and executed on-site in different countries raising the prospect of intense contextual and cultural implications. The intriguing question that lingers is whether the artist’s personal creative intent is relevant or he is entangled by communal thematic expectations to which he must conform since the work is in the people’s space. This immediately raises questions about the role of ‘outsider’ artist in some instances, in the generation of subject matter and the role of outdoor sculpture placed in public spaces which are expected, in essence, to be in contextual resonance with the local community. The sculptures are large stone sculptures placed in outdoor spaces and done in various media such as marble, granite and soapstone. The work is located in different sites in various countries.