The is an exemplar piece for a proposal I’m considering. It’s called ‘in the company of strangers’ and combines a skipped footstool missing two of its four feet from my mum’s care home, with driftwood from a beach in north wales close to a property I have out there. Freedom and confinement but both out of bounds during the covid-19 crisis. On a practical level it’s my first finished piece working with upholstered furniture.
grace in expression: movement & emotion
The reality of existence, how we experience, make best use of, endure and enjoy it, is laden at every turn with the potential for chance, change and unpredictability. Next door is chaos. How do we cope? We get on and do great (and not so great) stuff. Through action or inaction what starts as one thing becomes another. And another. So the distance between most things and most people is not so great as it appears. Our noble doubts, flaws, guilt, transience and fragility as much as our glory and success.
I try to capture things integral to our lives. The way we think and do stuff. I like attaching my work directly to floors, walls and furniture but that’s not for everyone so my work also comes self contained. I’m happy to deliver and fix (or gently place) it in any part of your space and accept commissions of all sorts, using my stuff and/or yours.
I’m in awe of the sea. And love driftwood. The relationship between the two fascinates me. One the indifferent, relentless artist. The other often quite stunning, naturally occurring art. It’s easy to draw a metaphor between us – people – and our environment, and driftwood and the sea… So my interest in the raw yet relentlessly refined beauty of driftwood and unwanted furniture and other unloved and forgotten manufactured wooden (and metal) products stems from its almost perfect qualities as a raw material to describe something of what it is to be human.
This underpins all my work.
As does my appreciation of humanism, existentialism and wabi sabi, the Japanese belief that nothing is perfect, perfection is in imperfection and transience and impermanence are at the heart of the glory and value of life and living. Unsurprisingly I see what we call ‘nature’ as effectively a persistent, permanent state of which we – humanity – are a passing if entertaining and occasionally graceful part. As well as being lovely to look at I hope my work captures the essence of my beliefs and exposes both the wonder of human endeavour, the futility of many of humanity’s obsessions and the nobility and strength inherent in many ordinary and extraordinary individuals and their thoughts, compassion, emotions and ‘achievements’.
Can anything be more life affirming or, indeed, calming?
sopa creative, milnsbridge
the gallery, slaithwaite