Introduction

The text below is taken from "Some Sculptors and African Art":

If my sculpture has visual connections with African art, it is with artefacts rather than sculptures. These are forms of meaning and use, especially the mortar and pestle, stools and carved beds and musical instruments such as flutes. These demonstrate a regard for proportion, the relationship of the parts to the whole and how the work corresponds to our physical participation.

Like most of African sculpture; most of my sculpture is carved, made by cutting away the unnecessary. The technique I began with as a student, gave up on for too many years when more modern materials became fashionable and returned to more than a decade ago. There exists a masonic link; although in detail the working methods vary; the African sculptor sits holding a piece of a branch at arms length and carves with an adze, an axe-like tool: I stand or kneel, my chisel driven by the blows of a mallet. It was the closeness of this dialogue between carver and material, direct carving, that reinforced the myth of the authentic; the value of the hand-made and the so-called purity of craft. Phrases used to describe both African works and the sculpture in stone and wood by carvers like Brancusi and his protégé Modigliani. Sadly this myth and reliance on craft and skill has sustained innumerable indifferent sculptors ever since.

My sculptures are distillations, (excluding the 100 Small Bronzes Project: a Notebook), wood works carefully made every contour considered. A dialogue between the wood and the sculptor; the concern for 3 -dimensionality is evident; pieces of wood carved until they are invested with vitality, with a tension between the inside and the surface. Sculpture made within the European tradition having and implied centre, a force growing outwards pushing against the surface (if successful). They are equivalents to fruit and seeds; they do not describe.

Duchamp-Villon said in 1911and I am fond of repeating. "The sole purpose of the arts is neither description nor imitation but the creation of unknown beings from elements which are always present but not always apparent."

In 2004 I acquired a small furnace and a kiln and began tentatively to relearn forgotten skills and take on new technical responsibilities.

In the Spring I took a Foundry Course with Lawrence Tindall: one day a week for ten weeks. After that, I began in September to cast bronze.

At the beginning it was my intention to make 100 bronzes and to complete the project by the end of 2005.

These bronzes, 186 in total, comprised the exhibition Across the Board + 2 Other Sculptures, seen first at Black Swan Arts in Frome in 2007, Pound Arts, Corsham in 2007/2008 and at Huddersfield Art Gallery in 2008