Architecture Course Lecture, Friday 28th October 2016: Rebecca Newnham (RCA)

Rebecca Newnham (RCA) works predominately as a sculptor and designer and current work illustrates scientific concepts such as energy transference.

Her materials lead approach is informed by an understanding of glass, bronze, concrete, fiberglass. She is a skilled maker and usually creates her own work with teams of assistants and in collaboration with structural engineers Packman Lucas.

Sculpture can be static or kinetic, some float or suspend or rotate. WAVE, a 15m floating installation, was commissioned for a private lake in Yorkshire and considers the ever increasing volume of information which invisibly surrounds us.

The five sections have an internal steel structure, have a highly polished red surface and are invisibly chained together and anchored to allow the work to respond to wind and water flow. WAVE is red because in the colour spectrum, red appears at this wavelength.

Rebecca first exhibited work in Salisbury Cathedral in 2010 and is now co curating ‘Reflection’ which includes the work of 9 artists who work with glass including her own.

Sustainability & best practice is on all of our agendas, and the studio explores reuse of glass bottles in particular crushed as an aggregate in concrete or fused in a kiln.

Years of research is now leading to exciting commissions reusing glass bottles to create artworks for the hospitality sector, and reusing glass to create artworks from materials with historical relevance.

SOAR is a sculpture cast in editions in bronze or with glass aggregate. It follows on from a series of work about flight and the energy required to elevate. The glass aggregate casts reuse imploded and graded bottle glass, sourced locally, in place of other aggregate, the glass sparkles in the light.

HSBC have one in their collection. Heineken commissioned designs for bars and clubs creating artworks from Heineken bottles. Heineken were the first to put beer in distinctive green bottles.

Events are held where creatives enjoy the beer (including BA Architecture degree Show 2015) and the studio then reuse the bottles in different ways: as an aggregate in a concrete reception desk for a night club, as fused inclusions in a stylised sound wave wall artwork for a music bar and flattened and mosaiced into a mirror and glass 14m sequence of over bar panels.