Category Archives: Sculpture

Random Things of Beauty no: 47

The starboard wing of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner over India…

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Chorlton Arts Festival

Mick showed some of his artworks from Spontaneous Places at the Chorlton Arts Festival.  The original plan was to build a small city in the garden but the Manchester rain stopped that from happening. So the city spontaneously moved into the entrance hall of Mick’s house where much wine was consumed…

Spontaneous stuff….

This week we managed to put the Spontaneous Places exhibition over at the RIBA Hub. The Preview is on Tuesday evening 5.30 – 8.00pm. This is your invitation to come along…we have wine!

The work is simply stuff I do in the basement. Its intuitive and spontaneous, hence the title and its really about the process rather than the product. I rely on found material to shape these places. An assembly or a drawing starts with things coming together without a plan. You see things, stumble upon them. Its mostly accidental  but you seem to know how it works. Shapes, forms and lines intertwine, collide and intertwine again…you don’t know why this happens. It just pours out. Very much like the wine!

See you on Tuesday…

Preview…

Here are two shots of Passport Office. I think it might be finished now. Built around the carcass of a kitchen cupboard I found in a skip.  Most of the over skin is made of found objects painted with textured external paint. If you look closely you will find some small figures standing on the roof.

The name is a reference to Apollo House in Croydon which used to be the UK Passport Office. Built in the late 60’s it too has a wonderful wing on its roof.

Passport office 2Passport office

Out in the sunshine…

This weekend I pulled out of my basement workshop/cats home the current solid pieces I am working on. In the heat and sunlight they looked very different which prompted me to spend some time painting and fixing while I got a tan.

Lighting is crucial for all things. I remember researching the lighting Rothko wanted on his paintings in his special Tate Britain gallery in Pimlico. It’s worth a look. In sunlight they would lose that soberness.

I sort of liked what the sunlight did to my pieces, The depth and complexity of shadow is wonderful but the sunlight also reveals more timber than texture than simple for. Not an effect I am after.

Anyway here they are in the garden. They are heavy and Sue complained about having to help lift them up the basement steps. I bet Sir Anthony Caro doesn’t have that problem…

Be prepared…

brian-eno_1355749cHere is one of my heroes talking about ideas and work. Having ideas is not about waiting for inspiration to start. It’s about keeping your eyes open and having what Brian calls a ‘prepared mind’, that will notice things, see things, recognise opportunities when they appear. And they appear all the time. The effort required is simply the need to open oneself up to new things…seeing new relationships etc. No amount of analysis, or ‘doing things because we think we ought to’, will help you open, observant or productive.  I like the fact that Brian says we need to ‘surrender’ to the idea, to the work…. become the work and put any ideas of ownership or ego behind you…. very yogic, and very productive.

Enthusiasm is the key says Brian.  Its infectious but also helps drive forward ideas and solutions. Of course timing and luck is everything as well as a good dose of talent but if you are open, observant and enthusiastic the timing and luck will fall into place…

Being, Doing and Sawing…

This week end Felix and I (the cat I share the workshop with) started working on two pieces. The one at the back has working title of Turbine…its the remains of our very old teak sun lounger which finally died this year. The other piece is a new departure. For the first time I decided to build from scratch one of my sketches. It’s a huge learning curve as it means not transforming a found object from the start, but building a new template on which to add and adapt. It’s a building sort of, but very exciting.

Despite having a predetermined idea about this piece I am still trying to stay in the Flow. That is the state of consciousness where Felix and I stay in a highly enjoyable, creative state of mind…. and just make. Felix finds it easier than I do. I have the opposable thumbs so I have to handle the saw…