My work is calls upon a very wide range of sources for inspiration which is reflected in the variety of work I create. The thing each piece has in common is my fascination with clay as a material and a style that is intriguing and a little off-beat. I try to imbue each piece with a character or detail to engage the viewer.
For my current work I’m exploring the theme of the ‘Extrinsic and intrinsic’. I have taken inspiration from the Japanese art of Enso in which an apparently simple circle is a reflection of everything from the universe as a whole to the void from which it came. The way the circle is drawn encompasses a spirituality and is often accompanied by words of wisdom from the artist. This has led me to consider the concept of internal and external spaces within sculptural forms. I started with vessel forms who are traditionally functional forms with a decorative external form and functional internal space and am exploring the idea of creating more than one internal space as well as playing with the idea of turning internal spaces into the external through form and surface decoration. I am also interested in how the surface and form interact and how the piece sits within its environment. This has led me to be interested in how light might change the look of a piece as well as how the piece might impact on its surrounding using light and shadow.
I’m also working on combining ceramic forms with textile work and adornment. The textile elements are particularly inspired by the circular forms working with free-hand machine embroidery and layering of fabrics to create rich textures to contrast and complement the clean solid forms of the ceramics.
I still have a long way to go with this work and am really enjoying the journey so far.
In earlier work, another source of inspiration has been the concept of ‘Elements of protection’.
Sculptural forms are inspired by organic forms such as seed pods, shells, & insects, nature’s amour and natural defences evolved over millions of years. These highly effective and often beautiful structures are the basis for hand built abstract forms and surface decoration. Exploring scale and form these pieces combine to create works representing protection from the perils of the physical world, direct attack from predators or the forces of nature.
Gargoyles, the guardians of church buildings, are the inspiration for figurative sculptures. I studied their character, humour and form whilst trying to define the essence that extracts such varying responses from the viewers. I became interested in appearances and assumptions, people’s instinctive or ingrained reactions to certain features or “looks”. Goodness and beauty have become inextricably linked within people’s perceptions and therefore, ugly and evil have also become intertwined.
By moving my study away from gargoyles toward the human form I am making my work more accessible to the audience whilst updating the style. It appeals or extracts a response from something deep within the viewer. I want the audience to look further than the superficial appearances and consider why they react in a certain fashion. Other contributing influences include African art, alien culture and peat bog mummies. My aim is to capture the character and humour that is the essence of gargoyles whilst bringing them up to date. In addition to pieces influenced by talismans & good luck charms from around the world, these form work representing spiritual protection.
Each piece is individually hand built in stoneware clay. I enjoy creating work that has impact and involves the viewer, as a result many pieces have simple descriptive titles as I do not wish to influence or guide the viewer’s responses. They invoke a wide variety of reactions, which do not warrant any limitations or direction from me.