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‘Perfection is for the gods,’ and this sculptor gets to a thousandth of an inch of it

Mark Firth doesn’t talk, or work, like a stereotypical artist. ‘Machinery is my vocabulary,’ he says, surrounded by rulers, cutting mats, sketchbooks filled with ‘page after page of numbers’ and devices designed to shave metal to the thousandth of an inch. His London studio, with its whirring machinery and mostly unadorned walls, would be easy to mistake for a boutique metal workshop. But as the short film Precision as a State of Mind details, Firth has a refined artistic vision – one inspired by the intersection of objects and science, as well as the creative problem-solving that emerges from his intricate processes. The short documentary captures Firth in his studio over the course of two years as he creates block sculptures for an exhibition at the Graves Gallery in Sheffield, England. Featuring Firth’s gentle narration set against a barely there score and cinematography as precise as its subject, the film provides a meditative window into the world that Firth has built around the things that fascinate him.

Video by Sheffield Museums

Director: Alan Silvester

1 March 2022

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