Top Billing speaks to artist Cecilia Wilmot Ballam
Recently featured on Top Billing, Cecilia Wilmot Ballam's amazing sculptures stood out in a Wanda Michelle Interiors - designed home in Hyde Park. We caught up with the artist to hear about her amazing pieces and creative process.
1. Why did you choose to pursue the medium of sculpture?
I used to struggle in school as a child with reading and writing and later discovered I have Dyslexia. I have actually used my Dyslexia as a blessing as I view things in three dimensions. I am sculpturally ambidextrous, which certainly helps the creative process. I have loved sculpting since I was 3 years old and it has always been my dream to make massive sculptures.
2. Which materials do you like to use?
I think my favourite medium is clay as it is extremely tactile and malleable which responds well to my emotionally charged form of sculpting. The next step is mold making to cast in bronze. I love bronze because it is timeless and impermeable.
3. What is the average length of time for creating one of your sculptures?
I would say a month from my side as I start off with miniature models and concepts and then my team and I weld the armature. I then do the clay magic which is a creative process I can't stop....sometimes it makes me work all night. I get overwhelmed by the vision of the sculpture and it has to come alive. After this it's mold making and then the foundry collects the mold. The foundry take a further 6 to 8 weeks to cast in bronze.
4. How do you make your pieces feel fluid despite the use of heavy materials?
I am constantly looking for inspiration from nature. On my morning runs through Delta Park and the Spruits trail I study the water and the sureal reflections. All experiences become part of your palette, so to speak.
5. Explain the creative process of creating sculptures for a specific space in a home?
This process is so wonderful. My business is called Space Alchemy which is playing with the idea of turning space into gold. We look at the architecture and the interior design and the use of colours and then come up with designs that embrace the space. Often we workshop ideas with the interior designers, architects and clients to come up with our final concepts. This creative process is extremely rewarding as each project is a journey.
6. How do you draw inspiration for your pieces?
Inspiration is found everywhere and can even be drawn from a conversation with a stranger. If we are open to see the magic in life it has a way of finding us.