Placement And Installation of Sculptures

Placement and Installation

Placement and installation of a sculpture will have a bearing on design, composition and execution. Shape, thickness of material used, reinforcements like steel rebar all need to be considered.

How you base a sculpture will depend on the location, the sculpture and your artistic vision.
The variables involved in planning and situating a sculpture include:
  • The height
  • A bas-relief sculpture will have very different requirements to a tall free-standing sculpture over two meters or six and a half feet.
  • The weight and how the weight is distributed 
A self-supporting shape will require less reinforcement than a piece that has only a couple of points touching the ground. Therefore, non-self-supporting compositions will require reinforcement when securing to the plinth or base. 
If the sculpture is over-head
If a sculpture is going to be over-head (an arch way for example) then reinforcement and possibly an engineering certificate would be required. We do not use Pal Tiya Premium as a construction material and rely on steel reinforcement to provide any structural aspects. For example, if you were to make a load bearing bridge you would make the bridge out of steel and coat our material on as a decorative finish.
If the sculpture is on private or public land
Local authorities will each have their own legislation around public art and planning permissions. Artists will need to complete their due diligence on what is legal and permitted in the area they want to create in.
If it will be touched or climbed on
Having a piece designed to be handled by the public rather than viewed from a distance will influence how you base, reinforce and sculpt your piece.
Permanent or temporary location. Can you move it?
If the sculpture is permanent or if it may be re-sighted or moved in the future will also influence your design decisions. 

We designed this dragon to be able to be moved on a pallet loader and flatbed as she is a display piece. You can see part of the making of the foundation in this video.

Whereas Grandpa Dragon below is going nowhere. Weighing 3 tons and being a self-supporting shape, he is resting on a poured concrete base with gravel under him.

Other times artists may use steel rebar struts sticking out of a poured concrete base that fit into the bottom of the sculpture. 

For example artist Clint Hansen said about this sculpture "They are bolted and secured to 1300 pound limestone blocks"  

More on tips for making armatures for large pieces that may be moved here.