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A History of Aviation by David Henderson

A History of Aviation – Part 2 is the second embodiment of David Henderson’s installation series. The sculpture consists of large curvilinear components Inspired by the complex, geometrical fan vaulting of the fifteenth-century cathedral at Bath Abbey. The Artist actualizes his enduring wish to investigate curved sculptural spaces and surfaces by reinvigorating the perpendicular gothic structure; which is the core to his history of aviation series. Henderson also maintains the essence on his inspirations by creating a modular, adaptable sculpture which yearns to defy gravity, soar and create a feeling in which the spirit can fly.

Arch2o-A History of Aviation  David Henderson  (9)

Courtesy of  David Henderson

The visually convoluted sculpture is built using deceptively simple methods and materials where the 15th century stone masonry techniques are replaced by contemporary aircraft building processes. Henderson creates his fan shaped structural elements by carving foam and further wrapping them with layers of fiberglass and epoxy resin.

Arch2o-A History of Aviation  David Henderson  (10)

Courtesy of  David Henderson

The resultant ultralight ribs are assembled according to the structure which gains a stability of its own. The entire assembled structure is then skinned with heat-shrink Dacron fabric for a perfectly smooth fit. Computerization is used to generate and plan the entire process and meticulous hand-crafted skills culminate the construction where precision and building strategies are required.

Arch2o-A History of Aviation  David Henderson  (16)

Courtesy of  David Henderson

The Part 2 manifestation at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY is approximately 20’x35’x25’, where the sculpture is a contrast to Smack Mellon’s imposing industrial building. The sigmoid, ebullient installation countervails the massive structure and creates equilibrium between the rectilinear rigidity of the space and the lucid character of the sculpture. Each fan-like section is an anecdote to the lightness of a bird wing where sweeping forms and curved ribs fuse together bringing upon strength and delicacy to art piece.

Arch2o-A History of Aviation  David Henderson  (14)

Courtesy of  David Henderson

The entire exhibition presents the disparity between the raw industrial look of the hopper to the beauty and sophistication of the gothic vaulting. The History of Aviation’s alternative series have also been exhibited at the Berkshire museum, Queensborough community college and MassArt College where the artist tries to continue his experiments.

By Parantap Bhatt

Courtesy of  David Henderson

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