history and c.v.
I'm 39 years old and I have been working as a sculptor for the past 13 years, professionally since 1995. I am self-taught and I developed my skills through a series of enthusiasms for photography, ceramics and watercolour painting. Ceramics were my first love and much of my later work has evolved from the organic sculptural style of my pottery. When I later discovered steel and arc welding I immediately felt excited by it, and it remains my favoured medium.
I had a rather academic education where arts based subjects were very much a second priority, but with hindsight I can see this as quite a positive thing. Having had no training I came to start making things as a vocation - it was something I discovered in myself. As a result I think I have kept a fresh and original approach that comes from the heart. I have often used my materials and tools in ways that a trained person probably wouldn't, and I've been free to explore materials and techniques without any preconceived ideas about what I 'should' or 'shouldn't' do. Also, my academic schooling and the ideas it generated have had a strong influence on my work. I studied Geology and Geography to age 18 and my work contains many references to ideas of Process, and to landscape features, maps, and fossils.
I was born in Manchester
in 1965 but lived on the moors near Blackburn from 1971. I spent most of my
childhood exploring these huge soaked playgrounds, and the streams and wooded
valleys nearby. Here, and in later travels abroad in my late teens, I noticed
how things decay and change, and saw the similarities in the growth and entropy
of landscape and structure in diverse environments. On an internal level I have
felt analogous processes at work as features of my own internal landscape change
over time. Thus my work echoes changes to both external and internal landscapes,
and this parallel development is what has driven much of my work.
Though I also work
with wood and stone, generally I work with steel, mostly using an arc welder,
various hand tools and a blowtorch. I like to work the steel by hand and I avoid
using power tools where possible. I make a broad range of work with a strong
individual aesthetic and I have worked in all sizes from 9cm to 18sq.m for both
interior and exterior settings, wall mounted and free-standing.
Over the years I have been involved in many things - too many to list, and more vitae than curriculum, but some of the most interesting or enjoyable have been:
-running and exhibiting
at an artist-led gallery in Nottingham - the Broad Street Gallery - from 1994-96;
-working with the Groundwork Trust and English Nature on public arts and events in 1996 and 2000;
-exhibiting at various times at Tregoning Fine Art, Ashbourne since 1995;
-working with A level students and children with special needs at local schools;
-creating larger pieces for the Hebden Bridge Sculpture Trail in Yorkshire in summer 1999 and 2000, and for the local Arts Trail every year since 1996.
-In 2001 I exhibited at Ashbourne ( now the St.John Street Gallery ), and in The Beetroot Tree Gallery in Nottinghamshire, also at The Art Attack Project in Hoxton Sq., London, and at the Beatrice Royal Gallery, and Sir Gerald Hillier Gardens, Hampshire. Also at Whitby, in Herons Moon Gallery, at The Ropewalk Gallery in Humberside, and in Kings Heath, Birmingham at the Park View Gallery. Later this year I will be installing the piece "Map of the Universe" ( see '3-D gallery' on my homepage) at Henshaws Arts Centre, Knaresborough, N. Yorks.
2002 I have work in several of the galleries mentioned above, and a new
opportunity at the Cusp Gallery at Burleigh House- a very impressive stately
home in Stamford, Lincs.
Also I have made an environmental award trophy for English Nature, which will be given to a new candidate each year.
Unfortunately the installation of 'Map of the Universe' at Henshaws still hasn't happened - it's been too windy/cold/rainy for several months(!) and now I can't transport it because my beloved old pick-up truck died and my new van is too small! ....but I have a firm plan to make some progress with this in the next week or so.
In 2002 I had work in the Beetroot Tree Gallery, Park View Gallery, and an ongoing selection of work is in the St.John Street Gallery.
I had more work in the Cusp Gallery from August, and I'm looking forward to showing work there again when the gallery re-opens in March 2003.
I have contacts again with Phil Tregoning, and he is currently showing several pieces in his new space in Derby.
Also I had some work at Leicester University Botanic Gardens alongside a number of renowned British and international artists, from June to September. This was great fun and I'm told the feedback from the public was very positive. Hopefully the event will be repeated this year and I look forward to hearing more in early Spring.
Also in September I took part in the Wirksworth Art and Architecture trail, where I was able to show over 20 pieces. Lots of very strong feedback from the public, and the many positive comments gave me a much needed confidence and enthusiasm boost.
Finally, I took part in this years Leicester City Gallery Open exhibition, which was excellent for its quality and diversity... and I sold some work there, which always brings things up in my estimation!
started slowly, working on a gate which took up a lot of time (click
here to see pics), and afterwards I worked on some other wood projects -
which may be revealed in time - and learned a little about stonework. It was
fun to play with new materials and learn about their nature and ways, But by
April I felt the urge for steel again and started work...
In June Phil Tregoning moved, again, to a new space in Ashbourne, Derbys., and I have work there for the indefinite future. < http://www.ashbournegallery.com >
The exhibition "Sculpture
in the Garden" in Leicester was held again this year, and I exhibited alongside
internationally known artists such as Peter Randall-Page and many sculptors
from Pietrasanta in Italy. The exhibition ran to late August 2003. The work
I showed is called "Water" :click
here to see pictures.
Also they've put all the info and pictures from the whole exhibition on a website at http://www.leicestersculpture.org
From June to July i had a joint exhibition with Martyn Barratt, whose work I like very much, in Stamford, Lincs., at the Art Centre there < http://www.stamfordartscentre.com > Martyn chose to exhibit some of his wood work in Stamford, but you can see some of his stonework on the 'leicestersculpture.org' link as he also showed work there.
I had a few commissions to work on (two lights and a large wallpiece: click here to see pictures) which kept me busy through to December. Meanwhile I had a solo exhibition at Gallery DNA in Burton on Trent from November to January 2004, and showed a few works in a joint show at the Charisma Gallery in Matlock.
In December I was pleased to hear I had been elected as an Associate of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. www.rbs.org.uk
In February 2004
I showed some wallpieces at 'The Loft Bar' in Nottingham,
I exhibited a range of work at Charisma..... and in July I had a solo show with
the Harding House Gallery in Lincoln.
For some of the Summer I helped in the production of a short film, which absorbed a lot of creative time, but by September I took some work to show in the Wirksworth Art Trail, and subsequently took some work to Gallery 1218 in Holmfirth, Yorks. I also have a few pieces with the St John Street Gallery in Ashbourne, and sold some work at the Leicester City Gallery Open Exhibition.
So to 2005....
firstly I have to move workshop as the current one is going to be demolished!
its lovely wooden doors are the background to most pictures on this site. i've
been in that workshop for 9 years so I guess its about time i moved on.
Coming up...I have been invited back to make something in the woods for the last ever Hebden Bridge Sculpture Trail starting in June. Unfortunately this means i can't take part in the Sculpture in the Garden event in Leicester, which this year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, but i can't be in two places at once and seeing as this is the last EVER Hebden Bridge event i thought i'd go for it.
exhibitions this year include:
April, Arts Creative, Chesterfield
May, Charisma Gallery, Matlock
June, Hebden Bridge Sculpture Trail, Yorks.
August, The Ropewalk Gallery, Barton on Humber, Yorks.
September, The Crew Yard Gallery, Patchings Art Center, Nottingham.
click here for links to these galleries
summer, in between sculptural projects, i'm going to branch out into film making
... the screenplay is nearly ready... just need some zero-budget volunteers
to help with the manifestation of the pictures in my head...
i say 'film making' but it's actually more like 'obscure-arthouse-video making'. The background idea is a dreamlike journey through Jungian narrative/psychological archetypes (don't worry, i won't try to explain it all here!). But "the medium is the message" so the ideas will be quite occluded, and i'll be concentrating on visual impact: image, colour, composition and motion. The ideas will be communicated by vague allusions to classic narrative and 'collective unconscious' themes - Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz, bible stories, fairy stories, tarot archetypes, myths, legends... well, i did say it'd be obscure arthouse.
my hope is that it'll look better than it maybe sounds here - it might be rubbish, but at least i'll have tried. If i like it i'll try to put some or all of it on this site to download, so - probably sometime in 2006! - watch this space... or not, as the case may be. If it's really bad i'll just scrap it and hope none of you ever embarrass me by asking about it!