After five years working in the film industry creating sculpture and landscapes for feature films such as Labyrinth, A fish called Wanda and Aliens, I took a break to carve marble in Italy for 6 months. However, I fell in love with the stone and hung around there for about 9 years. In that time I exhibited with galleries in Amsterdam, Milan, Vienna and Cologne.
On my return to England I set up a studio in Hampshire. I now exhibit my sculptures in various venues including The Cass Sculpture Foundation.
My sculptures have homes as far afield as Cannes, Malibu, Texas, The Bahamas, Australia and Hong Kong.
It sounds like the opening line to Star Trek and strangely enough it's quite close to what I mean, but my work is my journey, my ever developing understanding of life and my desire to find order and simplicity within it.
This began with the material itself, first finding its limits and character. How it best yields itself to the chisel and the hammer. At what point will it fail and what are its limits. In this fashion I began to discover my own apparent strengths and weaknesses, when I succeeded and when I failed, and was there any difference between these two anyway.
After mastering the techniques of working in marble and exploring complex forms I realised I had limited myself and the stone by my own force of will and so the only way forward was to stop completely or look internally at both myself and the rock.
I felt that if the stone was now mine, where forming it was second nature to my hands then I could release them like two fully trained apprentices. The part of me that controlled them was obstructing the part of me that wanted to explore, for lack of a better word, my spirit.
I was partly terrified and wondered if I would be wandering intellectually for years before some glimpse, but there was no wall, no endless cul de sac, no maze. Just a simple evaporation. like a gossamer curtain drifting away. No trumpet sounds or cherubs clapping. At the time I didn't notice how banal it all was.
Up until then I had always been puzzled by a Buddhist saying.
Before enlightenment, cut wood, carry water.
After enlightenment, cut wood, carry water.
This is my own enlightenment however, not yours.
It is also a stone derived enlightenment, so may be very different to others.
Best read the manual.
There is something so entirely singular about staring at a block of stone and having it stare back at you. You are about to carve each other.
It is not steel or clay. You cannot cut and weld, you cannot add. You cannot change your mind.
You cannot take something from elsewhere and offer it. It doesn't want it. It has been silent inside a mountain for 60 million years and has only recently seen the light of day.
You can only subtract what is does not need.
It only needs you.
You are then interchangeable.