John Martin gallery has just sent the link to see the film for the first time. Well done Cathy and Neil, thank you. I shall attach the link below for you to see and perhaps send on to others who might be interested. Today I worked on the giant six ton block that has been sitting, waiting, on its bed of railway sleepers for me to start work on. I have not quite decided how I shall finish this piece, but hope that the way forward will become clear as I proceed. I have done a sculpture very similar to this before and was very pleased with the way it turned out. I am exploring the same territory again. However the sculpture ends up; the first few days require the removal of tons ( literally) of waste. Oh yes, there is a full page in the FT weekend tomorrow of me looking grizzly and dusty to advertise the exhibition in London next month. The picture is of Cathy Sayers turning the turntable whilst keeping out of shot.http://vimeo.com/87886863
Wednesday 26 February 2014
Cathy and Neil came back today to do a little more filming. We transported five sculptures into the field and filmed them on the turntable whilst Cathy pushed lever to rotate it. Occasionally Neil would shout out that he could see Cathy’s back as she walked round, bent double. I have also been looking for someone to help unload the blocks from the lorry when it arrives from Italy. My machine cannot lift more than about three tons. I need one that can manage 4.6 tons.
Monday 24 February 2014
Here is the block I have chosen. The one in the middle of the three. It has a crack running horizontally through the middle which makes it of limited interest to the marble yards. They slice everything into thin slivers for buildings, and a block that is tall and thin is almost impossible to slice as it is too difficult to stand upright on the sawing block. A block with a crack like this can be bought more reasonably than a sound one. Before leaving the yard it will be sawn into three pieces. One cut hopefully close to the crack. I left the block with crayon marks on it and with luck the fellow operating the saw will take note. Not being there is always dangerous and you never quite know what will turn up on the lorry in a couple of weeks time. Fingers crossed. The writing on the block indicates it’s weight. 11.62 tons. Sometimes we see blocks as big as 45 tons!
Friday 21 February 2014
I have just got back from Italy where I have been looking for marble. I went with two friends Paul Vanstone and Jonathan Loxley who are both sculptors too. We go together in order to fill up a complete 24 ton lorry. This is naturally more efficient than filling only half a load. Seeing old friends is fun too. The photograph is of an artigani (artisan I think) carving a religious sculpture. They have been making copies of statues for ever but the reason for showing you this is different. This carving was carved to this level of detail by a machine. The artigani was simply smoothing out the bumps. Incredible eh. The newspaper hats are traditional and that at least has not changed.
Thursday 13 February 2014
We have given all the sculptures in the exhibition to be held at John Martin gallery names. 21st March-19th April. This one is Lazy Boy. I say we, because my wife Sophie and I work on this task together. We throw ideas around and try to find titles that in some way represent the individual sculpture. A sculpture has a life of its own, a personality, a character. The title we hope would suggest this character to the viewer. This sculpture looks as if it might have been trying to be a very regular thing but got a little bit haphazard in its construction. There seems to be something a little laid back and sleepy about it. Although many of this series of sculptures involve the repetition of forms there is never a slavish adherence to mathematical accuracy; that is not my bag. If a line looks straight; it is straight, as far as I am concerned. Here is Lazy Boy, one of my favourites.
Wednesday 12 February 2014
This small task involves a good deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth. I do not make sculpture with a title in mind. The work itself is born out of a process that bypasses the literary world. We find ourselves needing to retrofit a title to the sculptures. I have been through many possible ways through this minefield. We could simply give the sculptures a number, but that seems a bit dry, and rather like a factory churning out a product. I find the best titles are pretty abstract. A sculpture with almond shaped segments does not want to include the word, almond, for instance; or the viewer will not be able to go beyond seeing nuts everywhere. I think the titles that suggest a mood without ever becoming descriptive work the best. Below there will be no mention of flowers or stars!
Sunday 9 February 2014
Cathy Sayers and Neil Tugwell of Vision on Communications spent the afternoon filming me at work at my studio. They filmed me splitting a block of marble and we also put a couple of sculptures on the turntable in order to film them rotating. I was just out of shot pulling on a rope in order to make the turntable turn. Rather comical somehow. I expect the film will look very professional and you will never imagine that there could be anything so low tech going on. We have to choose an appropriate piece of music to go with the film. Tricky, as it must convey the right feelings. We spent the day looking skywards as rainclouds skudded past, waiting for the sun to peek out. Rather miraculously it did and all went well. I attach Cathy and Neil’s details below.
Thursday 6 February 2014
Here is another of Pooch’s pictures. We wanted to have some images that showed the sculptures off well but also gave some indication as to scale. Pure studio shots can leave the viewer unsure if a sculpture is large or small and unclear of what it is made. Having me in the background might help we thought. Blurry is best as the sculpture is more important to see than me. Anyway here is one of them.
Wednesday 5 February 2014
Pooch and I spent a day by the sea photographing sculptures. We felt that it was a good idea to show the sculptures in the landscape so that people could see that the sculptures look great outside. Some friends allowed me to place the sculptures here for the photo shoot. I consider it one of the most beautiful places I know. Pooch and I had to carry the sculptures into position and then back to the vehicle afterwards. We were both exhausted at the end of the day but the resulting photographs make it all seem worthwhile as they are spectacular. Thank you my friend.