We have just been sent a picture of my sculpture Orbit at an exhibition in Sweden. How strange to see it so far away and against that vast granite wall. I recommend having a look at the other sculpture there as there are some nice things and the setting is spectacular. Actually having said that I see that they have not yet got their 2013 website up and running. The show is at Udden Hunnehostrand and I am sad that I am too busy to make it over as I have never been to Sweden and it looks beautiful.
Monday, 24 June 2013
I am enjoying this piece. The work is repetitive, and as a result laborious, but…. I like what I see. I am reminded of Japanese temples as well as stacked pillows. The sculpture is looking more architectural which is interesting and unexpected. The question that is waiting for an answer is: to soften or not to soften. The individual forms are quite hard edged at present. This possibly pulls the feeling towards the mechanical and architectural. The changes of light happen in accentuated steps and helps the viewer notice the changes and twist. The more organic softer forms could work well too with the forms resembling pillows more. As I write I can feel my inclination turn towards the first of these two options. I shall make up my mind tomorrow.
This will be quite different although still connected. I took a long time to get the twist even on the sculpture, and as you can see the forms are beginning to take shape. The slithers are getting steadily thinner as they rise as well as getting smaller from side to side and back to front. I shall have to lay the sculpture back on it’s side at some point to finish the work on all the grooves lying between the segments.
Thursday, 20 June 2013
I have a new block started and have begun to put a twist in it. The two previous sculptures have started with a twist but this one is much more formalised. The twist gets thinner as it rises.The block was a fairly neat shape to start with and this at least in part led me to make the twist very neat. I have not quite decided where the sculpture will go from here but will stand the ‘twist’ up tomorrow and see. The previous carvings have all been fairly ‘soft’ looking; this sculpture might retain the square section of the twist making it a departure in a ‘harder’ direction. I normally understand pretty clearly what I am going to do with a block by the time I start carving. It is therefore unusual to proceed like this, but I like the elements that I have so far. A vertical work. A twist. Getting thinner as it rises. With these elements in place I am confident that a good way forward will reveal itself tomorrow.
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
The sun shone today and I have made good progress. The forms are coming together well and I am doing my best to slim down each segment without letting the area connecting them get too skinny or the whole thing risks getting too fragile. I drilled a hole underneath and then welded together a stand so that I could work on the marble in an upright position. Although this does not always allow one easy access to all aspects of the carving it has the advantage of the sculpture being the way up that it will end up. The new welded stand is on a revolving table that I made a few years ago from a giant bearing off a mini digger. It worked well for a few years but must be rather clogged as it is now very stiff to turn. Time it had a service.
Monday, 17 June 2013
The new piece is taking shape as you can see. The marble has been trimmed on all sides and, as before, given a twist. I removed several pieces of marble that were splitting and feeble and reduced the whole block considerably before it was solid. I am being quite methodical with this sculpture as you can see in the picture and cutting out the profile that is drawn on the marble. I will be this direct on all four facets before standing the sculpture up to see just how to proceed. Although it may end up simply being a seven segment version of the last piece I would like to progress the idea a little if I can. As mentioned before, the separation of the segments is interesting but perhaps I might thin the almond shapes down still further. I am getting ahead of myself however and will wait until I have the piece stood up to decide how it shall be.
Saturday, 15 June 2013
I have worked hard on the five segment piece and although it needs lots of cleaning up I feel it is better to move on so as to uncover the next idea. I spent the last hour or so of the day splitting a block. One half of the block is a very solid rectangular block with no cracks or problems of any kind. The other half had a great crack on one side which I split off from the rest of the block before any carving so as to not run into any problems later. The block is now fairly thin at one end but I think that will present little problem with these stacking forms. The photo shows the clever little devices used to split the block. Two teardrop shaped wedges are dropped into a pre drilled hole and then a wedge is driven between them forcing the two apart and splitting the block. I always enjoy this task as the musical tone of the hammer on the steel wedges rings higher and higher as it tightens before the marble splits and the tone plummets.
Thursday, 13 June 2013
I have had a great day. The sun shone and the larger and more complex sculpture is working nicely. The format is more or less the same as the first attempt only there are now five segments instead of two. This whole concept is very close to some of the sculptures made in my 100 day series but the segments are all individual forms. They are not joined as before in what I have referred to as the bent alkathene joint. These segments join together in a way that will show the join all around the sculpture. There will be horizontal banding. These almond forms are new to me too. I like the way they animate the twist that might otherwise be overlooked.
Tuesday, 11 June 2013
The little sculpture is more or less complete. I am not sure what I think of it yet. Perhaps it is best to simply put it aside and to start on the next. There is something very satisfying in making forms that are on one level very simple and yet actually quite complex and fully understood; fully realised. What we have here is more than two slightly bulbous forms on top of one another. There is a twist and some parts are flatter than others. The top form is slightly off balance. The sculpture is figurative, but only just. The forms being almond shape in section have edges on either side which help animate the twist. Tomorrow I have to drive to near Bath to load a sculpture onto a lorry bound for Sweden. I have been invited to send works to this exhibition over there but only have one that is suitable and not promised to other exhibitions already.
Monday, 10 June 2013
I am back from London; discombobulated. It often happens I find. I come home with my world rocked by the experiences I had whilst away. I saw two giant rocks at the Serpentine, one placed on top of the other. Nothing at all had been done to the rocks apart from select them and place them. They were very simple and powerful. The exhibition at the crypt in St Pancreas is wonderful . There are 19 sculptors involved and the standard is really good. Returning home however l find myself full of doubt. Creative doubt. I need to be calm for a few days and to start afresh.
Although I had an hour of the jitters this morning I (rather miraculously and not quite believing it) feel I have made a good start on a new work. I need to urgently get a quick turnover of ideas going for the exhibition at John Martin gallery in September. This sense of urgency and of time running out only serves to fuel the self doubt. I have started small, which seems sensible, and on a very simple form. One single segment joint with a twist. Already various other versions are springing to mind. I might have had a creative wobble that lasted only an hour. I can live with that. The past, my past, tells me that making sculpture is the best way through a crisis.
Saturday, 8 June 2013
I’m in London at London. It’s a group show involving the artist from the onform exhibition at Asthall Manor that happens every other year. As it is their ‘off’ year they decided to exhibit as a group in London. the work on display is really great and represents the best stone carvers working in Britain today. I am of course not impartial, but that is honestly how I see it.
It is great to see my work in an exhibition space. It is only then that I can make the final judgement as to whether the sculpture has worked or not. This is especially true of ‘Yield’, which has never before been upright. I wonder what you think…. Does it work?