New sculpture: ‘The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be The Heart’ (reclaimed mild steel 35cm x 29cm x 25cm). Bit of a long title but it was inspired by watching the 1927 classic silent movie, Metropolis (dir. Fritz Lang).
Having never seen it before, I was blown away by the iconography. The tale of a Utopia turned Dystopia really struck a chord, particularly having recently started reading about the Post-humanist/Transhumanist movements. These movements are considering the practical and ethical implications of the potential future merging of humans and technology. What could possibly go wrong?
This piece is intended to be a reproduction of a human heart, but as a mechanical/industrial prototype for a Post-human body. I hope it will be the first in a series of pieces related to this topic.
Finally got around to taking photos of ‘Recumbent Figure (Taking a Line for a Walk in Cartesian Space)’. Reclaimed mild steel 107cm high x 180cm wide x 75cm deep (42″ x 71″ x 30″).
The original intention is pasted below, but since completion, I’ve come to the conclusion that this piece is primarily about inviting the viewer to analyse the positive and negative spaces in the piece in order to decide what is ‘figure’ and what is ‘ground’.
We do this all the time in the 2D world. We draw an outline on a piece of paper and the viewer automatically differentiates between what is ‘inside’ the line (figure) and what is outside (ground), even though it’s all still the same piece of blank paper. This sculpture tries to do the same thing in 3D space, although it’s a lot tougher on the viewer!
This piece is based on the well-known Paul Klee quote that ‘Drawing is taking a line for a walk. In this piece I’m trying to take the line for a walk in 3D Cartesian space (x, y and z axes) in order to evoke a reclining female figure and – hopefully – provide just enough clues for an observer to work out what it is.
The intention is to suggest planes and volumes without actually using any so that the observer is invited to quite literally ‘fill in the gaps’. On circling the figure, the hope is that certain familiar shapes will offer themselves for recognition whilst other – previously recognised shapes – will ‘disappear’ as they are seen from different angles (playing with ideas of focus versus peripheral vision)
New painting (oil on canvas 61.7cm x 61.7 cm/24.3in x 24.3in). It’s based on the satirical portrait, The Ugly Duchess, by Quentin Matsys (1513), and is a portrait of Klaus Schwab, head honcho at the World Economic Forum, who’s promoting the idea that ‘we’ eat insects. It’s the first of the Momus series of satirical portraits of the great and the good. Tentative titles: The Ugly Duchess (obvs…); Let Them Eat Cucaracha; WEF? WTF?! Other suggestions gratefully received. He/she was originally holding a bright green locust, but I thought that might be even more off-putting. This painting is for sale…
New Sculpture: TORSO III – Prometheus Devoured (Reclaimed metal 78cm x 67cm x 44cm / 31in x 26in x 17in)
This is one of an ongoing series of sculptures inspired by my reimagining of Damien Hirst’s ‘documentary’ of ‘The Wreck of the Unbelievable’ as actually having discovered sculptures which suggested that the ancients had invented Cubism/Modernism thousands of years ago.
It was instigated by an article highlighting Giovanni Battista Bracelli’s 17th Century engravings which seemed to contain hints of an early Cubist style even then.
My work is usually based upon the human(oid?) figure and I also love the ancient Classical legends and art. As is the case with a lot of my art, the style is influenced by Picasso’s approach to form, but also by my recent discovery of the work of Julio Gonzalez and David Smith.
I’ve been experimenting on and off for some years with making small maquettes formed from ‘flat materials’ through scoring and folding, similar to Picasso’s paper-based figurative sculptures. I love the idea of creating ‘volume’ from ‘flatness’. I also very much like Henry Moore’s (or was it Barbara Hepworth’s?) description of holes linking one side of a sculpture to the other so I thought this would be a good opportunity to play with those ideas, especially given how ‘flat’ the material used to make the sculpture is.
Recently, I’ve been looking at a lot of vintage anatomical medical illustrations and thinking about Francis Bacon’s use of images of butchery in his visceral paintings, so am trying to find ways to incorporate these into my art.
I hope viewers might believe that this sculpture, whilst being in a modernist style, looks as if it could have been discovered on the seabed, encrusted in barnacles and coral, as Damien Hirst’s creations were, but, that in my reimagining, viewers might also stretch their incredulity and believe that it might actually be genuine and provide evidence of a previously undiscovered artistic period in the ancient world..
TORSO IV (reclaimed mild steel 116cm x 62cm 61cm / 45.7″ x 24″ x 24″). My work is usually based upon the human(oid?) figure and I also love the ancient Classical legends and their associated works of art. As is the case with a lot of my art, the style is influenced by Picasso’s approach to form, but also by my recent discovery of the work of Julio Gonzalez and David Smith. Having read Smith’s collected writings, I was particularly struck by the sense of his artistic integrity and his passion for ensuring the artist was involved with every stage of the creation of a piece.
Being aware how harsh and industrial the reclaimed preformed steel I currently use as material is, I am trying to find ways to reduce or even undermine that effect. In his writings, Smith talks about the two strands of metal sculpture; forged/cast work and fabrication. This piece, therefore, is an attempt to marry the geometric fabricated ‘personages’ of David Smith with the monumental organic cast figures of Henry Moore.
I hope the viewer will recognise that the sculpture represents a human torso despite being abstracted greatly, and that they will take pleasure in the fact that it was all created by the artist’s hand by long and slow trial and error rather than using 3D computer software to design it. I hope, too that the viewer will be of the opinion that the sculpture feels both ancient and modern.
Head of Dying Minotaur (reclaimed metal 51 x 48 x 50cm). With this piece I am trying to channel Damien Hirst’s concept of the #wreckoftheunbelievable but with a twist by recreating classical sculpture in a modernist style as if the wrecked treasure ship was discovered millennia into the future.
Completed Sculpture: Torso II (A Strategy of Tension). This sculpture is a response to the past 2 years of lockdown and is based on the stunning ancient sculpture of Laocoön. Mild steel (119 x 84 x 64cm)