Ruben Marcos – Weblog A creative model maker's blog…


Damon Albarn Sculpture Commission – ‘Kwestral’ the great horned owl.

This has to be one of my most interesting and challenging projects to date. From the amazing opportunity to getting involved with the awesomely talented and inspiring musician/artist, Damon Albarn (Gorillaz, Blur..). To the crazy "open" brief they presented to me, the medium to be used and the uncertainty of it all! I really had no idea what it would look like until it was finished... And that is very fun! Kinda scary.. But fun!

At the start the brief was to make a matt black owl, possibly made of tyres and it needed to have backlit red eyes on a dimmer... and that was it! That was all I had to work with.

The concept of tyres did concern me slightly, though I highly encouraged the idea and I proposed to use bicycle tyres considering the scale I would be working on. They really loved the idea of using bicycle tyres, specially as Damon actually cycles around London sometimes. I found out that Damon uses a local bike shop in London that he has been going to for many years. That shop was my starting point to go and pick up some old tyres and inner tubes. They were very helpful and promptly arranged to send me a box full of juicy stuff for me to use on the owl!

This piece should have taken me about "6 weeks" of work, though I had to squeeze it all into 3 very long and intense manic weeks instead. I nearly collapsed by the end, but it was all worth while!! It was a pleasure to see Damon and everyone else pleased with the final result. Specially since the brief was so vague.. they did put a lot of trust in my hands. And I very much enjoyed the creative freedom I was offered! I could really get used to this.. 😀

  • Kwestral will be "aired" for the first time at Damon's performance with Bobby Womack for the New Years Eve Hootenanny show on BBC2, hosted by Jools Holland. Check him out!! 😀