Four Friends - CODAworx

Four Friends

Client: City of Elk Grove, California

Location: Elk Grove, CA, United States

Completion date: 2022

Artwork budget: $74,000

Project Team

Artist

Martin Webb

Project Manager

Shelly Willis

Overview

Four Friends is a group of figurative sculptures in Oasis Park, Elk Grove CA, adjacent to a new pre-school. The figures are rendered in a playful, somewhat cubist style, and brightly colored shapes and patterns derived from foliage contrast with the industrial and angular Corten steel. The aim is to create a focal point that reflects and reinforces the idea of the park being a social, familial, and community space.

I initially considered a number of different ideas for the Oasis Park Park commission, but kept coming back to the concept of the benevolent oversize human figure. “It felt to me like the most distinctive of the options I considered, and the one that offers the richest range of outcomes. I believe that presenting viewers with objects that are understandable yet a little mysterious, and ambiguous in the possibilities they offer, challenges them to be creative in finding ways to use the objects. The art creates an environment and stimulus for them to exercise their emotional and imaginative minds.”

Goals

The aim was to create a focal point that reflects and reinforces the idea of the park being a social, familial, and community space, and to be a marker for the zone where the park transitions into the preschool.

Process

I developed the designs as small card maquettes, which were then digitized, laser-cut, and welded in Corten steel by MSH Ironworks. Once complete and sandblasted, I painted the colored areas, and applied patina to the rest. I'm enormously grateful to MSH for guiding me through the process, including the final installation of the pieces. Thanks also to Shelly Willis who was project coordinator for The City of Elk Grove.