I have had over 30 years experience as a sculptor working in plaster and clay for bronze casting.
Over the years I have worked on many site specific public works with property companies and other organizations. My first large commission was the Hammersmith Man figure in 1988 and my most recent was the Icarus sculpture for the Olympic Village in London 2012. The bulk of my work has been my private work of various sizes exhibited in galleries in the U.K and Ireland.
My work is nearly always based on the human figure whether in an abstract from or in a realistic way. I have always wanted to work from the human form because of the feelings and emotions it conveys; there is usually a story behind every piece. My work has changed enormously over time and gone through many phases depending on what has been happening in my life and where the inspiration has come from. For example, during a marriage break up, my work changed from the calm, smooth and serene’ Mother and Child’ and ‘Couple’ works I had been doing to pieces full of energy and angst which reflected my feelings at that time. There have been many other changes since.
Ideas come from anywhere. They can come from a piece of flint or bone found while out walking or from a dream, mythology or something briefly half seen while traveling somewhere. The ‘Eve’ and ‘Torse’ series of figures began when I picked up a beautiful piece of flint that looked rather like a female torso. I began by making a very small figure hardly bigger than the original stone and then did the series of figures which got larger and larger. I made the original work in plaster as it is possible to create the smoothest of finishes. I enjoy people wanting to touch the finished work.
I work in clay or plaster because it is fast and I like to get the ideas out quickly. I start with a metal supporting armature and use aluminum wire to produce the rough shape I am after and go from there usually adding clay or plaster as fast as I can. I rarely draw before working as I like to keep the spontaneity and get ideas as I work. Most of my finished work is cast in bronze. Light reflects well o the surface and it can be irresistible to touch. Casting bronze is complex and time consuming and I try to be involved at each stage of the process; this metal is timeless and has its own fascinating history and, of course, should outlive us all.
Over the last few years I have been excited by the mythological figure of Icarus and have produced a series of ‘Icarus’ pieces. These ideas began when I was learning how to fly (in an Ikarus C42) and the combination of man and wings is so compelling that I can’t see an end to this period.