In September 2020 I took the plunge and after 40 years following a career in the commercial world I left my job to throw myself wholeheartedly into the arts world. I owed it to myself having decided at school to park my artistic abilities to “return to later in life”. Creativity is a gift and it would be remiss of me to just dabble as a hobby and not to make the most of it.
I'm at the start of my new career in a strange new world and finding my way as I go, doing as much work as I can, reading and learning from the masters and trying new materials, tools and processes. Ive been studying the works of Brancusi, Hepworth, Young, and Moore extensively to build up an understanding of their creative processes, thoughts and lives to help guide my own approach.
I’m experimenting to find what I love doing and to develop my ideas and imagination. What I have learned is that the stone itself is the heart and soul of what I make, be it rockery stones from a garden centre or blocks from quarries or suppliers. Its hardness, colour, texture and imperfections dictate a lot of the creative process either as a block I impart my ideas upon or as a unique stone that guides my ideas. Carving stone is hard work; its dirty, dusty, noisy and laborious but I love it. I often get lost for hours in the rhythms and the feeling of unity between my mind, my hands and the material, a world away from what I’ve been used to.
So far my sculpture is tending to gravitate towards two themes, faces and forms. There is something magical when a face starts to emerge from a piece of stone and its features, expression, and mood take shape and develop over time with each carving action. Its there, its tactile, its almost real and I start to form a connection to it and give it a name, Freda, Emily, Ernest. It has a presence, unchanging, calm, reflective like a friend.
I like to take inspiration from natural shapes (shells, flames, fish, mammals, flowers) and the action of natural processes such as erosion and develop ideas and forms that have balance, simplicity and elegance.
Before discovering stone carving I used take photos as my primary creative passion and many moons ago I used to paint in oils in the 90s and have carved wood on and off since then but not to any real degree. I have a wide collection of photography books of other peoples work and have studied their techniques and styles and use them as ideas so I can "see" my own pictures in what is around me. In particular, Joel Meyerwitz, William Eggleston, Martin Parr, Saul Leiter, Stephen Shore, Peter Fraser... The list goes on... I'm interested in photographs in the urban environment and street photography. I prefer colour photography and look to capture compositions from the urban environment using natural and man made colours. Ive produced a few photography books which are available for purchase direct from the manufacturer.
Thanks for looking at my work
Stockport, United Kingdom