Thursday Salute to Originals: Rebirth From Rust

In Greek mythology, the phoenix is a magical creature that cyclically regenerates over and over. Associated with the sun and fire, each rebirth rises from the ashes of a predecessor. From her own “pile of ashes,” sculptor Penny Hardy brings new life to rusted old metal through her series of human forms, Blown Away.

Each three-dimensional figure shares a single reference — Penny Hardy’s own body. Even with a shared core, each sculpture relays a distinctive human emotion. A more recent work shows two lovers touching hands about to kiss. Another called “Duality” illustrates an internal conversation between two sides of a single person. Each sculpture is made even more unique by the assorted rusted gears, bolts, and screws used.

“By using discarded man-made metal items, which have been so skillfully made and used to create their own mechanical energy, I hope to extend their life in another form, re-use that energy for a different purpose, and exchange their function to create a new entity,” said Hardy in an interview with Colossal.

The bodies Hardy creates out of heavy metal pieces appear light and ephemeral in their new form, appearing to fly away in the wind. When viewed in context with their environment or the occasional paired statue, the figures relay strong, fundamental emotions, which is truly the new life she brings to the rusty bits of junk — when was the last time an old radiator made you smile?

This Thursday, we are saluting Penny Hardy and her reborn rust. Her work is emotional and compelling, and the reimagining of old, useless metal into a new, light form is quite fantastic.

Sources: Penny Hardy, This is Colossal