An article in The Times

This summer, Dame Fiona Reynolds agreed to sit for the Environment Series Heads and there are two new sittings planned with the founders of Common Ground, starting in November. I am now trying to identify a good location for the exhibition of these heads. I have several works at a joint show at Newport House, Herefordshire October 12-26th. My winter carving project proceeds – RSPB Pulborough Brooks plays host to the 3 tonne block of limestone which I am carving once a week, most often on Saturday mornings should you ever find yourself passing through West Sussex. The move of … Continue reading An article in The Times

Woking, an early Epstein portrait and a link to a lost work

I happened upon Jacob Epstein’s Italian Peasant Woman in Shawl recently, part of the remarkable sculptures in the Ingram Collection of Modern British Art assembled by media entrepreneur Chris Ingram, who has enabled his home town of Woking to see art which might normally grace the likes of Tate Britain, via its loan to the Marks Barfield-designed Lightbox Museum and Gallery. Julia Barfield and David Marks were behind the London Eye and the Woking building is similarly worth seeing. The Peasant Woman head was created in 1907, at around the time Epstein was given the commission for 18 figures on the British Medical … Continue reading Woking, an early Epstein portrait and a link to a lost work

2011 works: The Human Clay exhibition

University of Surrey has a vibrant Public arts programme with 30 sculptures and busts around the campus, including works by Bridget McCrum, John Mills, Diane Maclean and William Pye. Jon Edgar’s solo exhibition there in Nov/Dec 2011 was linked with his Surrey Sculpture Society Autumn lecture, to which about 75 attended. For those that did not see the Lewis Elton Gallery show, here are the new 2011 works and a summary of the catalogue text. The Carved Sculptures Edgar’s improvisational methods include not selecting blocks so much as them selecting him, so their material and proportions – which influences the … Continue reading 2011 works: The Human Clay exhibition

Dick Barton, the mapping of South Georgia… and a solitude experiment

In 1951 Duncan Carse, the voice of ‘Dick Barton – Special Agent’, a BBC serial thriller with a huge daily audience, abruptly gave up his radio acting career to lead a six-man private Antarctic expedition during 1951-52 that planned to make the first accurate map of South Georgia. It failed to achieve this, but Carse organised a second party in 1953-54, and then a third in 1955-56. Finally, his persistence was rewarded in 1958 by the publication of a map by the Directorate of Overseas Surveys which remained the definitive map of the island until 2004. Alec Trendall was geologist on the South … Continue reading Dick Barton, the mapping of South Georgia… and a solitude experiment

On the tradition of pre-conceiving sculpture

This short clip is part of a Documentary film by Anna Thornhill. It features archive footage of sculptor Alan Thornhill working on a sculpture in Putney in 1989 and the resulting work, Exodus,  some 20 years later at Kingscote Park in Gloucestershire. Thornhill’s self-devised method of improvisation using clay allowed him to abandon the use of the sculpture armature and build freely creating a matrix with pre-prepared clay ‘elements’. His concern was to manipulate the material, to find ways of making it stand up or hold together, and through adding and taking away, to see what came. This allowed things to enter the work … Continue reading On the tradition of pre-conceiving sculpture

The Environment Series Heads

In 2006, the first of the ENVIRONMENT SERIES portrait sittings began as a logical extension to the invitations to people whose work or stance I admired. The head of Lady Philippa Scott, with her husband Peter Scott a formidable partnership for wetland conservation from their Slimbridge home, had been one of the earliest heads in 2007. The Environment Triptych emerged by 2008 – busts of three ruthlessly authentic, holistic thinkers – the writer Richard Mabey, moral philosopher Mary Midgley, and Gaia theory originator and independent scientist James Lovelock. The heads had a relevance individually but the interplay of the three heads plinthed … Continue reading The Environment Series Heads

The human clay: Compton

It was magical to discover that the painter I studied with at The Frink School (and recently visited in Edinburgh) Ruth Addinall, had come across artist Mary Wondrausch‘s wonderful book Brickfields and corresponded with her. Wondrausch’s slipware has a historical resonance and is in the V&A Collection, but her broader talents have resulted in a house and garden to rival Charleston for colour and placement – her pots, her plantings, her paintings, historical kitchenalia and rustic European pottery… underpinned by her historical research on our relationship with food and writings exploring such curiosities as potted Char, salt and spice containers. We have … Continue reading The human clay: Compton