‘Popcorn’ Public Artwork Project
Rune Bo Jakobsen has studied, worked and tutored workshops in Denmark, Arizona, Italy, Finland, Greece, Mexico and Malta. Working as an architect by day and artist by night, he has this year been awarded Malta Arts Funds for his traveling Public Art Project, ‘Popcorn’.
The concept behind ‘Popcorn’ is that of expansion and fertility. The popcorn analogy where a tiny seed bursts into a unique sculptural volume can be seen as an expression of life and the growth of the embryo. On one hand, the concept deals with the growth of the individual, yet also the growth of the industrial and physical environment.
The idea is to create an expanding volume using an experimental concrete casting technique where the concrete takes the shape of a textile form. The shape and texture of the sculpture is dictated by the forces and pressures between the flexible skin and the liquid concrete.
Currently casts are growing to an industrial scale where casting experiments are gradually increasing in size arriving at 1m in diameter and reaching two tonnes. The forces of the liquid concrete become much stronger, subjecting the materials and sculptural method to tougher tests. Expressive tension lines and folds are fossilized in the concrete as if the expansion were frozen in time.
Whilst using industrial materials, the convex shapes are reminiscent of the Maltese Neolithic goddess of fertility. Some casts also contain concave voids, where the sculpture also becomes an introvert space – an opened seed or a womb.
The intention is to bring art out of the museum and directly into the street where the public can touch and perhaps embrace the artwork. It is a tactile sensory experience: a ‘hug-able’ popcorn.
The ‘Popcorn’ sculpture is intended for exhibition traveling to a number of outdoor public locations throughout Malta: starting in September in the streets of Valletta for the Science in the City; then in October to the gardens of Upper Barrakka for Notte Bianca and in November by the Grand harbour at the Valletta Waterfront.