The concept behind the Popcorn travelling sculpture 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, and on the other, it deals with the growth of the industrial and physical environment.
The idea was 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. Expressive tension lines and folds become fossilised in the concrete, as if the expansion were frozen in time.
While using industrial materials, the convex shapes are reminiscent of the Maltese Neolithic goddess of fertility. Some casts also contained concave voids, where the sculpture becomes an introvert space – an opened seed or a womb.
The intention of the project was not only to develop the casting technique, but to take art out of the museum and directly onto the street, where the public can touch and engage with the artwork.
Popcorn presents a tactile, sensory experience: a ‘hug-able’ one tonne concrete kernel of corn.
The creative process and public engagement has been captured and portrayed in a short-film showing the sculpture travelling to a number of outdoor public locations and events throughout Malta.
During Malta Design Week 2014 the Popcorn sculpture, along with the experimental test-casts and an accompanying short-film, will be exhibited at Fort St. Elmo, Valletta.
Rune Bo Jakobsen has studied, worked and tutored workshops in Denmark, Arizona, Italy, Finland, Greece, Mexico and Malta. He works as an architect by day and artist by night.
This project has been supported by the Malta Arts Fund.