Tell us a bit about your practice, how would you describe the work that you do?
I am a digital artist and craft practitioner. My work explores themes of digitisation and the reinterpretation of the human body as well as conceptual Freudian visualisations of the uncanny.
My creative practice focuses on sculptural wearables, combining prosthetic and accessory tropes with inventive and digitally altered forms. I like to bring together and fuse a variety of techniques and disciplines including 3D scanning, digital 3D modelling, and multi-material fabrication.
Rob Elford, Monolithic Smile, 2017
How did you get into 3D printing and scanning and what attracted you to this process?
My journey working with 3D digital technologies started when I was studying for my MA at the University of the Arts London. I was lucky enough to be awarded a Tillman Scholarship. This enabled me to start exploring the use of 3D and digital manufacturing technologies applied to fashion. It gave me the freedom to explore the use of 3D modelling, 3D printing and 3D scanning and ultimately create my first collection of wearable art.
Exploring techniques such as 3D scanning and 3D printing has allowed me to combine the physical and the digital, in ways that were impossible previously. This has opened up an array of exciting new techniques and possibilities when applied to both fashion and the arts.
Rob Elford, The Vacanti Man: Experiment 02, 2017
You often work collaboratively with other artists - what are the benefits and challenges of this?
Working collaboratively with other artists and designers has many benefits; it is an opportunity to completely reimagine and reconceptualise my ideas in new ways and opens up exciting and previously unexplored visual dialogues, which I would not have considered otherwise. It is however always a compromise between my own ideal outcome and the visions of my collaborators.
Sometimes when I work individually on projects, my creations become unexpectedly incorporated into other people’s artworks, which is extremely exciting. It is fascinating to see the creative evolution of my work that unfolds as a result of this.
Rob Elford, Flower Boys Part 01, 2018
Which artists working at the moment do you admire?
Two artist’s that I immensely admire and am endlessly in debt to, are Rein Vollenga and Bart Hess. Similar to myself, their work explores contemporary wearable art as sculpture and the augmentation of the human form. They have continually inspired me to explore the cross-discipline of fashion, sculpture and art. I also absolutely adore Matthew Barney; he is truly a master of the uncanny.
What projects have you got coming up?
I am currently in the early stages of a new project exploring transhumanism through biomimicry. This has already involved 3D scanning a number of animal bones and taxidermied specimens.
Published May 2018