The A3D project’s legacy stone engaged local people over the three months I worked it on site. During the final days, possible names started to come to me but none seemed quite apt. The thoughts of the creator and viewer may be entirely different – sculpture speaks to you as a result of what you project onto it rather than you needing to ‘get it’. For this reason, having something simple, ambiguous (non-confrontational and non-leading) seems essential to allow viewers not to be channelled when they are quite capable of using their own senses. Conversely, having a name which leads … Continue reading Naming a Hindhead public sculpture
A new sculpture sits on the course of the former A3 separating the National Trust’s Hindhead Common and Devil’s Punch Bowl, GU26 6AB, following a snowy launch on 23rd March. During the course of the final 10 days working, lots of words started to come to me but none quite seemed to fit a final name. A sculpture may speak to you as viewer in an entirely different way to me as creator – and so it seems a fun idea to see how others will view the piece, be they the children associated with the project, locals, or those … Continue reading Can YOU name a new landmark?
An exciting year in preparation, with the last two heads of the Sculpture Series being completed and a Times photographer documenting progress of the critic sitter, Nancy Durrant, at Fittleworth in February. The Surrey University acquisition of the ‘Charmer’ bronze relief has been delivered but not yet sited. The Hindhead carving experience has been hard and cold – never rising much above freezing from November until March, and now on day 33. A serendipitous meeting with a former film producer living locally has resulted in lots of valuable footage of the carving developing… and the possibility of something equally creative … Continue reading To YSP: 2013 launches, exhibitions and teaching
We use the term gut feeling as a visceral emotional reaction to something; often one of uneasiness. However this does not originate in the stomach but in the subconscious, which sends a message through the vagus nerve to the stomach. Half of our nerve cells are located within the gut and these are an important factor in our intuition. The gut feeling then travels throughout the nervous system and is experienced by the whole body. I started the Devil’s Punch Bowl stone at Hindhead last week. In the three months of planning for the sculpture, I had agonised over where the block … Continue reading Bovines and gut feelings
Enthusing about the sort of things that goes through an artist’s mind in responding to place is thought-provoking. I biked around Hindhead’s Devil’s Punch Bowl distilling what I felt were the most visceral parts for me – a sublime landscape partially reborn, a heinous murder and narratives of good versus evil. Conan Doyle couldn’t have planned better, and indeed his Hound of the Baskervilles was written at Undershaw, the house he built and lived in for a decade, less than a mile away. Continue reading “Strangling the sublime”
John Fowles’ short story The Ebony Tower introduces Henry Breasley, a veteran painter talking to his future biographer David Williams who happens to be a young, conceptual artist: ‘My dear boy. Painted to paint. All my life. Not to give … Continue reading Improvisation and carving
After all, it is not ignorance which damages the clarity of our portraits, but the accumulation of knowledge. Alain de Botton – ‘Kiss and Tell’, 1995 The Amesbury Preparatory School in Hindhead is unique in being the only purpose-built school by Edwin Lutyens. It had an arts festival in March 2012, the final day of which saw the development of a sculpture with all 231 pupils in Years 1-8, aged 5 to 13. Seven months ago, arts teachers Mark Reynolds and Susannah Colborn discussed my idea of a communal portrait head, and we secured the Headmaster, Nigel Taylor, as a generous sitter for the day. This was to … Continue reading Where there is form, add clay