All the pieces in the Hardware Series present the observer with implied function, interchangeability of parts and all use a basic shackle form. These reflect, I’m sure, my experiences working with farm machinery in my teenage years, experiences working in a steel mill, and time spent while in the U.S. Navy, with crash boats and on a cargo ship working deck machinery and cargo booms. My intention with this group of works was to produce pieces which look real, seem plausible, even look familiar—to come as close to accepted reality as possible. But these pieces are not real, at least not in the sense of actually functioning; they are made of wax and cast in bronze. They are all illusion. I am attempting to involve the viewer in a game—that somehow if you just look long enough at these pieces, you’ll remember their use or how they worked. These sculptures are unique, they are one of a kind pieces. There are no reproduction molds except as indicated in editions, and the basic shackle form which is replicated in order to make the series consistent within itself.
In the early ’60s, Holt Murray was a pioneer in the artisan foundry movement in the Bay Area. In 1961, Murray established his first bronze casting foundry in his studio garage on Martha Street, San Jose. It was followed by expansion to the Siren Works Studio on Reed Street. In 1964, he built a large bronze and aluminium casting studio foundry within a 10,000 square-foot chicken barn in Morgan Hill. When he began teaching at Cabrillo College in the late ’60s, he built a casting facility in his home studio in Corralitos. Holt Murray’s sculpture has been exhibited over 5 decades and is in many collections. A bronze sculpture, Folded Plane #311, from the City of Santa Cruz’s collection is located on the Pacific Garden Mall. The Holt Murray: A Retrospective Exhibition took place at Cabrillo College Gallery in 2014.
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