For our 125th anniversary, we asked Ben Carter, the renowned artist, to work freely on an artwork that would leave an unforgettable memory of our celebration, as well as a unique gift to the Grand-Duke.
A limited edition of 125 copies was printed. They can still get acquired, for 150 euros each, by contacting our desk (email@example.com – tel: +352 45 13 54).
Ben Carter has kindly answered a quick interview, expressing his approach in the making of that artwork.
Could you tell us more about your artwork and the making process?
I was honoured to be commissioned by the “Scientists and Engineers Absl Luxembourg” to create a piece of artwork to celebrate their 125th Anniversary. The design aimed to integrate both science and engineering in a composition celebrating both heritage and modernity, scientific discovery and Luxembourg in a playful way.
It was definitely a challenging brief, as both professions encompass so much.
I started by looking at, and selecting icons to use as a more simplistic visual narrative. But these icons then somehow needed to be seamlessly brought together.
This is when the idea of the cog system was born, placed within the compass with it’s strong juxtapositions (the all encompassing compass) interlocking the two professions.
One cannot move without the other. Slowly rotating like the inner workings of a precisely engineered Swiss watch.
The original art piece is a large collage and therefore very tactile and three dimensional. I decided to build it a bit like a jigsaw, to enable my selected icons to be moved around, edited and replaced if needed before finally going to print.
The whole design is anchored down onto the iconic Red Bridge of Luxembourg, a symbol of engineering. And for one final twist the Red Bridge morphs into a DNA strand.
What do the professions of engineering and science, so far removed from the profession of artist, inspire in you?
On the contrary, the professions of Science and Engineering do not actually feel as far removed as one might think.
A lot of my more recent work explores how art can be used to communicate environmental issues to inspire meaningful action.
Science and Engineering can also be used to inspire meaningful action by finding solutions to tackle environmental challenges of our day and age.
So there is definitely a sense of affiliation here.
My eco art.