Leo Cappel

Leo Cappèl  – Abbie

Chicken wire, No.8 wire – $1,300.00

Leo Cappèl – Abbie. sculpture-park

All of us spent the first 9 or so months of our lives inside our expectant mothers.  Precious!  About time we acknowledge that, and celebrate pregnancies.

Leo Cappel - Abbie

Leo Cappel – Statement

Boundaries, restrictions? They are not acceptable, so I ignore them.

I call myself a sculptor/author/musician simply because I do not know a word that encompasses all I try to do.

When one of my musicals is produced, I sit near the stage on opening night, and see the characters I had ‘created’ on paper become real life people. Then I am an author. I marvel at the costumes, the backdrops and the masks: I am a visual artist. When I hear the musicians play my music on their harp, their flutes and other instruments, while the actors sing my lyrics, I become a musician. My three art forms merge into one.

The stage is very much a team effort. Each of my sculptures however is almost completely a solo work. A solo journey as well: very, very long ago I worked in bronze and stone. Exactly as I was taught at the Academy. Not good enough: I was never able to show more than an impenetrable surface. Next I moved to ceramics, leaving big holes in the surface or building out of barely connected sections. Still not good enough. Translucent work in casting resins was much better already, but I wanted to do bigger sculptures again. Open ferro-cement constructions or chicken wire and # 8 wire come close to what I aim for. (The good old New Zealand influence on an immigrant of long standing?)

To include colour I now combine my chicken wire sculptures with oils on canvas, unfortunately not weather-proof enough for the sculpture trail.

My paintings include a sculptural element and light; my sculptures tell a story, or even more than one story; some of my novels centre around the stage. All are one.

Over the last 2,500 years hardly any sculptor ever dared to portray pregnant women. Shame! Another boundary? Abbie is one of my answers. She was created with input from a Facebook friend, who named her.

Dear visitor, you can look into her soul, and she changes when you shift your viewpoint. Much like real people. But most importantly: Abbie herself is not restricted to a surface-only existence. She is able to reach right into her belly, to caress her not-yet-born baby.

To me she is no longer just a sculpture, but a personal friend.

Leo Cappèl, Whangarei