Transmission bronze sculpture by David Tragen
Dimensions: W 42.5 x D 42.5 x H 8 cm
Materials: Cold cast bronze
Transmission is an illuminated wall mounted sculpture which creates different effects depending on the use of its integral lighting, external illumination or both.
By day, the piece has a distinctive character where surface reflections play a dominant role and mesmerising visual distortions alter the sense of depth. By night, the piece takes on a new identity when illuminated; it is transformed into an interplay of shadows and light.
The piece was inspired by the Op Art movement and in particular the curve paintings of Bridget Riley. I wondered what would happen to the waves in her early work when they left the canvas and how I could play with the 2D visual illusion by introducing a third dimension.
The name, ‘ Transmission’, comes from the movement of wave energy, flowing out from the centre and then dissipating as it progresses to the edge. It also refers to how gentle ambient lighting is created from its central ring, travelling outwards over the peaks and troughs and beyond. It is made in cold cast bronze (a mix of resin and bronze) or cold cast aluminium.
The piece is suspended from a stainless steel back plate and can either be hard wired directly into the mains or plugged in with the decorative cable and knurled metal cable holders on show.
It all started one rainy day in 1995, after two months of being in Barcelona. It was pouring down and a friend and I were seeking shelter from what felt like a monsoon. We found ourselves on Calle Avinyo and dived into Zeta Futon for cover. The shop was filled with contemporary furniture and lamps of all different materials, shapes and sizes, made by local artisans. It was a light bulb moment; I wanted to be a furniture designer and maker.
After having left Sheffield Hallam University in 1994 with a degree in International Business, I spent a year working in Italy before moving to Barcelona to teach English. Seeking a new career direction that I could be passionate about, I had come to the city hoping to be inspired by its air of creativity. Having found such inspiration so early on, the next six years were spent passionately pursuing the goal of being a top furniture designer-maker.
During the early years, my spare time was spent restoring and transforming discarded pieces of furniture and making lamps in my tiny 2×2 m home workshop. My self-taught woodworking skills were supplemented by specialised courses in marquetry and carving before deciding to study Art and Design.
Having completed various projects for bars and restaurants as well as private clients in both Barcelona and Ibiza, I felt that in order to be able to interpret the more complex wishes of my clients I would need to train further.
I decided to return to Britain in 2002 to study and gain more work experience. With excellence being my objective, I chose to train with David Savage for a year in one of the best workshops in Britain. On completing the course I was selected by world-class Silver Lining Workshops to work as a cabinet-maker and after gaining a year´s experience with them, decided to set up my own company in Manchester. Since 2018 my work has diversified, with a greater focus on objects that are purely decorative and in particular the use of cold cast bronze as a technique to create sculptures.
What really excites me about my work is turning the intangible into finished pieces, whether furniture, wall art or sculpture. I love the whole process; from dreaming up the initial ideas to engrossing myself in the meditative making process and of course delivering the finished piece to a satisfied client.