there is a peculiar fantasy at work in elmar trenkwalder’s monumental fired sculptures. the medieval and gothic exchanges with the organic and the figurative in a way that evokes the mystical totemic and shamanic. with ornamentation that varies from ancient eastern to baroque to art nouveau, the amorphous shapes have such a beautiful polished tangibility while the glazed finish adds the moistness of primordial life. one’s eye moves over this densely detailed texture searching for familiar shapes or figures and discovering both the sensual and the sensational as erotic shapes and subversive creatures come alive. perfectly enthralling… the work celebrates its complex multi-cutural references within a context of worshipping rituals. therefore their scale and sheer size makes them not only a manufacturing feat but also an inspiring reminder of a need for religious or pagan devotion. creating a balance and often symmetrical composition assembled from combined and ambiguous shapes, he awakens the hidden and the revered simultaneously. the theme of growth and the near-randomness that decorate these shiny cathedrals emphasise our connection to nature through its abundance of tightly packed forms resembling both roots and limbs; like some overgrown forest ruin or fleshy aftermath from battle. although i admire trenkwalder’s work for the fact that it raises this awareness in the viewer my real awe lies in the way he captures the subtle similarities between the natural and the spiritual.