Bruce Gernand was head of sculpture at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design from 1997 to 2007.

Since 1998 he has been involved with 3D computer modelling. His most recent project, Coded Chimera, was funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council from 2010 to 11 and involved a collaboration with the Natural History Museum and Cambridge Computer Lab to explore relationships between sculptural form and biological morphogenesis through computer modelling. Taking D'Arcy Thompson's transformation diagrams as a starting point, but also drawing on the ancient concept of the chimera, Gernand used scans of animal specimens and new software tools to morph and blend digital meshes of different species, which convey qualities of fluidity and mutability. These four small sculptures are some of the results of that project. They comprise ‘chimeric’ stages in the morphing of a cat to a crocodile – Gernard deliberately uses animals that are culturally related rather than biologically related. Several morphing techniques were used by the sculptor using a Morph Tool in the Cambridge Computer Lab including ‘warping’ the cat and crocodile computer meshes and using a ‘marching cubes’ algorithm that interpolates a new mesh from elements of the two. This is then smoothed and sculpted digitally and printed as a rapid prototype model using a 3D printer. This acquisition was presented by the Art Fund and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation


The artist.

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