Scotland

Rob Mulholland: Mirror man reflects on his art

Image caption Rob Mulholland will construct his latest sculpture in the Russian city of Vyska

Scots artist Rob Mulholland created quite a stir with his mirror men.

The larger-than-life stainless steel statues mirror their environment - whether in a forest setting or urban Alloa.

Onlookers reflected that they were like the monsters from the film Predator, blending effortlessly into any background.

But even Rob did not expect the level of international interest - or new commissions - the sculptures sparked.

A feature about the work - unveiled almost three years ago - was published on an American website My Metropole Met.

"It gets around two million visitors a month and the article just went viral," says Rob, a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art.

"Next thing I knew, I was getting enquiries from all over the world."

Among them, commissions for work in Airdrie, Marseilles and Mainau Island in Southern Germany.

But his biggest challenge is a new project in Russia, in the industrial city of Vyska.

He was originally asked to recreate his mirrored figures for a festival, using materials from their local steelworks which is one of the largest in Europe.

But the town's authorities asked him to submit a plan for a permanent sculpture for their new sculpture park.

"I developed the idea of a 4m-high (13ft) tower which has collapsed, creating an arched sculpture," says Rob.

"They loved the concept and invited me to come to Vyksa and make the sculpture with the help of the community."

"It really is an honour when I think that they are entrusting the launch of their new park to an artist coming all the way from Scotland."

Rob arrives in Russia this weekend to begin work and has just seven days to build what would normally take him four or five weeks.

He plans to document the whole process in a video diary. While he is in Russia, he will also give a lecture to academics and students in Moscow about his art practice.

"I am a bit apprehensive and at the same time very excited about this challenge," he says.

"I half expect Anneka Rice to materialise in a blue jump-suit with paint brush in hand and a grinning smile to make sure I finish the task!"

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