LONDON.- The Zahra Modern Art Foundries, a major new UK art foundry, has been launched under the ownership of the artist Nasser Azam. Based in a purpose-built facility in Braintree , Essex , and benefiting from highly skilled local craftsmen, the Zahra Modern Art Foundries will build on the tradition and expertise of the Morris Singer Foundry (closed May 2010). The Morris Singer Foundry produced some of London s most famous monumental sculptures, including the bronze lions in Trafalgar Square , and the Boudicca outside the Houses of Parliament.
The Morris Singer Art Foundry has made work by all the major British sculptors over the past 170 years, and is an important part of the cultural heritage of this country, said Nasser Azam. It is my wish both to preserve the skills and knowledge that have been built up since the nineteenth century, and also to take the Foundry into a new stage in its history. Traditional techniques of monumental bronze casting, for which the Foundry is uniquely equipped, will be preserved and evolved alongside a range of new services, including work in a range of precious metals such as gold and silver.
Zahra Modern Art Foundries will play a central role in the world of contemporary monumental sculpture. The provision of Foundry Grants will create opportunities for a new generation of artists to work in the medium, , allowing young artists to spend time at the Foundry learning the possibilities of the medium. Nasser Azam also plans collaborations with academies of art. The Zahra Modern Art Foundries is pursuing an active strategy of expansion, and will develop overseas markets, particularly in the Middle East . New client associations are being sought in particular within the rapidly developing cultural infrastructure of the Persian Gulf States.
Nasser Azam has extensive experience of the processes of sculpture production, particularly the casting of monumental works in bronze. Azams The Dance, a twenty foot-high work in solid bronze, was cast in Braintree and unveiled on the South Bank of the Thames in London in 2008. Azam has emerged as a key figure in the world of international modern and contemporary art, working both as an artist and using his experience of management and finance to create new opportunities within the contemporary art world.
Zahra Modern Art Foundries will benefit from the infrastructure, expertise and client list developed historically by the Foundry since its inception in the mid-Nineteenth Century. A new management brings with it a powerful vision of the place of the Foundry in the international contemporary art world, and represents a vital new chapter in the history of modern sculpture casting.