Extended Artist Statement
At the beginning of each body of work, I research new themes and ideas but there is a continuity in my sculptural pieces as I continually seek to enable the viewer to connect with nature and a sense of well-being and self-awareness.
My main method of working is sculptural and having spent some time exploring the three-dimensional world using fibre, I began to feel somewhat restricted. The fibre provided a means in which to explore light and shadow, strength and fragility but ultimately it had limitations and I began to feel frustrated.
Discovering wood and metal recently changed the way I worked: both mediums provided me with the aesthetic value that I needed as well as a vast array of materials to work with. Wood is unique in its qualities being warm, tactile and of the earth. Metal is cold and man-made but has optical qualities being shiny and lustrous or rusted and pitted, and the contrast between the two mediums is exciting.
This new avenue developed my understanding of concept and I initially explored themes around the individual and community using Birch (a pioneer tree) to symbolise protection, hope, regeneration and a promise of what is to come, as well as being symbolic of the resilience of species. Wood is very versatile and can be used in its natural state or carved and manipulated. Metal, although very different, is equally malleable and lends itself well to capturing the life sustaining forces at work in day to day life. Humans have a long history with metal and as I prefer more natural materials, I will explore the properties of Copper and Brass amongst other metals, alongside organic constituents and found objects.
Metal however, is a very different element to wood in many respects and so I became aware that I needed to expand my skill set and knowledge base. Joining an evening class has already paid dividends with my first piece of metalwork being made in response to a poem. This sculpture was used as part of a collaborative project and was displayed alongside other work at the official book launch. Reinterpreting a poem is a new direction for me and one that I very much enjoyed. Collaborative processes have been a revelation and the breadth and depth in which collaboration is possible, an exciting prospect for the future.
My work has a multidimensional, multi-layered aspect to it, allowing the viewer to take from it what they need. I love this ambiguous way of working using abstract forms and different materials allows me to enjoy the process and I revel in these different interpretations of the sculptures I create.
I like to create a sense of movement and flow in my work and I transform thoughts and emotions visually by organizing them on paper first, using words and images to focus in on the essence of the piece to facilitate the telling of a tale.
This inner knowing that we all have and very often ignore is a constant source of fascination for me. Connecting with memory and a sense of time and place is at the forefront of my work and my ability to see beauty in the detail is of benefit in many ways: it helps me to relate to people in a way that draws out their creativity; allows me to follow a thread of conversation and develop concepts based on the subtext.
I am currently investigating happiness using spirals and curving sweeping lines to visually depict my experience of self and how I relate to external and internal processes. This self-awareness has resulted in a more confident approach to my work with a stronger focus on the themes that I am conveying, exhibiting sculptures publically and responding to “shout outs” for gallery exhibitions being possible because of this shift.
Reaching out to collaborate with people to advance a project can make the project itself a more dynamic experience for all those involved, as well as for the participants or viewers of the work being able to connect with or perceive the work differently. Using new techniques with metalworking and allowing the organic nature of wood to inform the work will enable me to begin to transform the process of creating art into an experience, elevating the sculpture from an object based piece to an experiential one.
Communication of concept and process has helped enormously and using my blog to polarize my thinking, work through the why behind my practice and learn to be congruent in all that I do, has resulted in a body of work that I feel has substance and integrity.
Actively continuing to seek to cultivate my sense of peace and happiness I aim to enable the viewer to tap into my peaceful positive state of mind with my use of colour and form, balance and counter balance, textures and movement and through making connections with nature, I will continue to get closer to understanding my own happiness and what is required to maintain it, balancing my reality with my expectations.
Staring into the abyss and having the courage to keep evaluating and re-evaluating where I am in my work and being true to the concepts and themes that are at the heart of what my work is about will ultimately lead to further revelations and though I anticipate that my work will continue to have a sculptural and visual outcome, I aim to explore interactive avenues; experimenting and exploring the scope that wood, metal and found objects could also offer in terms of sound as well as the values of being able to connect with art directly through that interaction. I will continue to chart my progress through my WordPress blog as this has been an effective way for me to collate, review and mull over ideas as well as being able to use the blog as a reflective tool.
Having gained a lot of insight and enjoyment through the collaboration in recent work, I also aim to engage in further collaborations to add another dimension to my practice.