Behind the Scenes: Teresa Solar

Posted on 3 February 2021 by Liverpool Biennial

Teresa Solar at MadFaber Studio, Madrid, 2021. Courtesy the artist. Photography: Pablo Alzaga

Teresa Solar at MadFaber Studio, Madrid, 2021. Courtesy the artist. Photography: Pablo Alzaga

For LB2021, Teresa Solar will present a newly commissioned outdoor installation, Osteoclast (I do not know how I came to be on board this ship, this navel of my ark), at Exchange Flags. Composed of five kayaks, each sculptural piece imitates the shape of a bone in the human anatomy.

Read on to learn more about the development of the project – including beautiful new images taken of Solar in the studio.

About the artist 

Teresa Solar works across sculpture, video, drawing and photography. Her exhibitions often function as complete ecosystems of thought, creating complex worlds thatdraw from literary works of fiction, mythology, or more terrestrial narratives that are close to her personal history. Her practice investigates verbal and sensorial language capacity, including the process of translation and the construction of meaning through words and bodily enactments. In this sense, Solar approaches her sculptures and installations as corporeal entities that relate to the industrial world, where hybrid forms of existence are constantly produced; her objects a crossbreed between the manmade, the natural and the mythical.

The New commission 

In 2019, Teresa came to Liverpool for a site visit to gain inspiration and catalyse the making process.Inspired by her time in the city, she began to sketch shapes of bones. The sketches developed into 3D digital models, which were then 3D printed to create small tabletop maquettes.


Jump to 2021 and the full-size bones have now been formed in foam and given an interior metal skeleton for additional strength. The sculptures have been fabricated in Madrid, at MadFaber Studio, where Teresa visits the production workshop regularly and is in the process of finalising the shapes and details of the five works.

Her team will finish the sculptures by hand, achieving a smooth surface on the lower areas of the works, similar to that of standard boat textures. The plinths, which will elevate the kayaks, are inspired by the steel supports that hold boats up on land.

The sculptures are anchored in the history of Liverpool as one of the most active ports during the transatlantic trade in Europe. Solar’s work draws a parallel between bones – hollowed structures full of veins, cavities and cell communities – and vessels, vehicles of migration, and transmitters of knowledge. They celebrate our capacity for transition and transformation.

In contrast to the enormous ships that are still built and docked in Merseyside – Solar’s kayaks, like disarticulated skeletons, set the body at sea level and evoke the fragility of the human anatomy.

Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and Liverpool BID Company with support from Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) and Henry Moore Foundation.

Image Credits: Teresa Solar at MadFaber Studio, Madrid, 2021. Courtesy the artist. Photography: Pablo Alzaga