Current Exhibition: Full Fathom Five
The physicist, Professor Brian Cox, tells us that we, like all things, are energy.
And when we die, our energy is absorbed by the universe and becomes a small part of some other elemental force of nature. It seems that our fate, like an autumn leaf falling to the ground, is to be assimilated into something new that enables the cycle of life to replenish and repeat.
Ferdinand’s eulogy, in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, shows us he is comforted by the belief that his drowned father has returned to the sea to become corals and pearls, to become something both strange and valuable.
For me, this idea of repurposing manifests itself not on the grand conceptual level of Shakespeare or Professor Cox, but in a more down-to-earth way, by including found items in my work.
I collect up what has been discarded by others and give these objects a new purpose. Here they are welcome, joining the paints and brushes, the mica and foil, the waves and the rain, the glitter and the gold. They become part of something else, something that will be crafted and cared about. They wait patiently to perform their cameo in my renaissance of rubbish.
Odd earrings and broken necklaces become stars and moons; old buttons become rocks and pebbles; other people’s detritus, so keenly spotted on long, coronavirus-inspired walks, are purposefully camouflaged into new worlds.
These days I am quite the avid repurposer, but I have tried not to let it become a cliché. Consequently, pieces made entirely from empty plastic drinks bottles or hamburger boxes do not yet appear in my oeuvre, and nor will they. I upcycle but have no aspirations for any moral superiority. I simply collect what I find and include them in my own landscapes, as if they had been abandoned in the same uncaring or unthinking way all over again.
Like Paul Forsey I too, have been influenced by the bard.
In Macbeth, Malcolm is warned that a wood will move to Dunsinane.
Indeed my monumental sculptures or totems shall move to Arlington where they shall stand strident and defiant.
They are 6′ high and 8″ square oak beams that have been hewn locally.
They are carved, turned, scorched and in some cases inlayed with stones and walnut wood
They are then coated with Danish oil to bring out the beauty and vitality of the material.
The smaller ones a mere 3′ high are painted and patterned in colours echoeing Mr Forsey’s vibrant colours.
The titles suggest my interpretations of the works but they are open to any interpretation put upon them by the viewer.