And now for something complementary - bringing art installations from concept to reality

24 June, 2014 Deborah Singerman

Some companies evolve by doing something completely different. Others choose to consolidate existing services and expertise, forming a new business and complementary identity. Axolotl Art Projects (AAP) is one such, a new, dedicated art project service division of the 20-year-old Axolotl Group.

The consultancy will “create and manage sculptural, contemporary, temporary and permanent art installations,” the company says. “Our extensive and innovative use of materials and techniques open up the creative palette to artists and designers that they may not have believed possible.”

As design manager Ben Wahrlich says, “We have in-depth knowledge of manufacturing, local artists, strategy and logistics. We pass this expertise on to offer a more seamless, expedited process.”

The group began in 1995, bonding semi-precious metals to substrates. It added architectural glass 10 years later, and concrete and timber in 2011 and 2012 respectively. With their latest venture, Axolotl “saw a niche in the marketplace to offer a fully resolved service to bring art installations from concept to reality”.

They assess each project, decide on the required level of involvement from art strategy, artist selection, and concept design, to design development, engineering, documentation and fabrication. They also have an in-house design and production team.

“We take the difficulties away from clients wanting to achieve something great who may not fully know how to realise their dream,” Wahrlich says.

Clients who already commission their works include artists, local government, commercial developers, art enthusiasts, and the types of projects that use their services, nationally and internationally, are land developments, civil areas, commercial interiors and temporary installations. They have worked with artists such as Janet Laurence and Colin Lancely. 

The website shows large, eye-catching installations in parklands with birds, frames, geometrical blocks, and patterns in Axolotl’s traditional palette of materials but designed for striking, contemporary art.  

“For almost 20 years we have been assisting artists to realise sculptural works, via our metal coating process,” Wahrlich says. “The artist is able to achieve various forms and scales not possible with solid metal due to cost and manufacturing restrictions. This appeal has extended to architects and designers to realise the same aesthetic on a commercial level.”

APP has large-scale artworks already in the tender process. At the time of writing they were also awaiting the result of the design competition for a feature wall for Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok Airport. They are one of the three finalists, their 520 square metre glass wall the result of what they believe is, even for them, a completely new design and methodology.