Shining Phantoms: The Reflective Sculptures of Rob Mulholland

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October 14, 2013 by katmcdaniel

Rob Mulholland is a sculptor and installation artist whose work can be found dotting the countryside and cities of his native Scotland as well as on foreign soil. His recent projects have included reflective figures, sculpted mirrors which become part of the environment and reflect movement and change within that environment. As leaves change colors and fall, clouds and storms pass by, daylight waxes and wanes, and people walk by, these stationary figures shimmer and change, creating a reflection of the mood around them. They can be eerie, ghostly, magical, and whimsical by turns.

Rob Mulholland, Vestige Image © Dougie Mathieson with CCLicense

Rob Mulholland, Vestige
Image © Dougie Mathieson with CCLicense

In 2009 he created an installation called Vestige, on the woodland walk near David Marshall Lodge. This installation deals with the relocation of sheep farmers after the First World War and the planting of conifer forests in place of the farms to combat a severe timber shortage. The results were the displacement of people from their farms and a drastic alteration of the landscape. Originally intended to be temporary, Vestige became such a hit the Forestry Commission of Scotland commissioned Mulholland to rework it in a more permanent medium so that it could remain on display indefinitely. The new sculptures are made from galvanized steel polished to a mirror finish. These figures are reflective in every sense of the word.

Rob Mulholland, Vestige © Marie-Hélène Sirois with CCLicense

Rob Mulholland, Vestige
© Marie-Hélène Sirois with CCLicense

My practise aims to explore all aspects of life. I’m interested in the theme of ancestry and continuity. Our world is in constant flux and our own personal lives are shaped by political and social powers beyond our control. I want to celebrate the individual, explore the resonance we have with the natural environment and convey how we are affected by the elemental forces of life and creation.

–Rob Mulholland, 2012, from his 2013 pdf book, available on his website.

Rob Mulholland, Vestige © Katy McDougall with CCLicense

Rob Mulholland, Vestige
© Katy McDougall with CCLicense

You can see more of Mulholland’s thought provoking work here.

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