News: Hargreaves cast in Gormley exhibition

08 June 2010

Iron foundry Hargreaves has completed eight blockwork sculptures for leading artist Antony Gormley's latest exhibition, Test Sites.


Iron foundry Hargreaves has completed eight blockwork sculptures for leading artist Antony Gormley’s latest exhibition.

The Halifax-based foundry has cast around 10 tonnes of iron for Gormley’s latest exhibition, Test Sites, which opened in London’s White Cube Mason’s Yard at the beginning of June.

One of the few UK foundries that could deliver a project of such scale, Hargreaves produced the eight sculptures within a tight six week schedule, delivering the final piece to the London exhibition on May 25th. The exhibition previewed on June 3rd and runs until July 10th. Made from metal melted from 100% recycled scrap, Hargreaves cast the huge sculptures in its Halifax foundry pits from exacting polystyrene models designed and produced by Gormley.

Andrew Knight, Foundry & Patternshop Business Manager, said: “The challenge in this project was to retain the absolute precision of Gormley’s models. These sculptures explore the relationship between architecture and man and so are all about straight, sharp lines.

“There was a huge responsibility on our moulding and casting team to make sure Gormley’s models didn’t distort while the sculptures were moulded and cast. Given the timescale of the project, there was absolutely no margin for error. Our guys had to get it right first time.”

The relationship between Hargreaves and Gormley stretches back over 17 years. The Foundry first cast for Gormley in 1993 for his solo exhibition in Malmo, Sweden.

Established in 1896, Hargreaves Foundry is one of a handful of UK foundries and pattern makers still in full operation, keeping traditional iron casting skills alive and kicking in Yorkshire.

Hargreaves MD Michael Hinchliffe puts their 114-history down to the ability to diversify: “Traditionally, we supplied castings to the engineering and construction industries. Today, castings for major arts projects accounts for some 40 per cent of our foundry business and we are also well known as a manufacturer of cast iron drainage products with a string of heritage projects to our name. In 2009, we acquired a business designing bespoke lock gates and tidal doors.”