There is one point, one pivotal moment in life when something special begins, a moment when a spark is struck and a flame slowly begins to burn. Such was my introduction to sculpture by Don Green, Head of Art at my old school in Northumberland. It was he who encouraged me, at the age of fourteen, to sculpt in clay and who nurtured my excitement and interest in 3-dimensional art.
Being born and raised in a tiny Somerset hamlet with the woods as my playground shaped my life and influenced my art. Originally creating large figurative pieces in stone and marble, I moved to stainless steel and glass about seven years ago following a commission for two sculptures by the Elan Corporation. This led me to explore and experiment with these new materials and resulted in a major transition in my work and the wonderfully dynamic sculptures we see today. My subjects have always been drawn from nature, but whereas the stone sculptures were embodiments of natural forms the new works go much deeper, expressing the very juxtaposition of our place in the world, torn between our man-created modern life styles and the natural world to which we belong.
The texture I add to the steel sculptures makes them shimmer playfully as you move around them and as the daylight changes and the seasons alter. It picks up the colours from its surroundings so subtly that you hardly notice it, but when you look into their curved forms its there, waiting for you. There is a bold freshness in the crisp stainless steel and hand-made glass, and yet these hard materials soften and disappear, lost and unnoticed in their flowing forms. The transformation is almost magical. And this use of modern materials to create natural forms allows them to sit comfortably in either traditional gardens among the real counterparts they seek to emulate or in the harsh minimalist landscape of modern architecture. Wherever you choose to place them they take on a new life that is as strong and delicate as their natural counterparts.