What does Sculturallandscapes stand for?
The sculpture being produced at the moment, is created from found objects, (in the case of the last few months mainly branches). It aims to act as a catalyst promoting the energy of nature and the unity of life. It is sculpture that feels natural and organic to the viewer as if it has grown, possessing a kind of life force.
On a personal level the work echoes a sense of longing, a longing for the essence of child like play and the simplicity and comfort of home. Born in the South-West of England, I have never felt settled in the North-West, I longed for the sense of oneness, a feeling of co-existence with life, that I felt in the village that I grew up in. Walking at night I felt like I could sense the energies of existence, my heart beating in time with the universe, this sensation is the same kind of feeling I get when all of the elements of my sculpture fuse and react as one.
When it works, the sculpture has a unity between the artist and the material, both elements have a strong say in dictating the outcome of the piece. The artist sees the form, yet the material decides where it wants to sit, if it does not connect with the surrounding branches it falls to the floor, there is a kinetic energy, the work can feel accomplished, the ‘ego’ sees a form ‘it wants’, yet if the sculpture does not have cohesion it will collapse! no matter how long spent on it, three days work can disappear in as many seconds. This can be a painful experience, if one becomes to attached or precious about an ongoing sculpture, it is liable to fall, this creates the energy and gives a freedom to the whole process, when all elements come together the work becomes strong and rigid, as if all elements are working in tandem.
At this current stage of my practice finding where the work sits has had conflicting outcomes, the contrasting materials work well in the clean setting of a gallery, the shadows give the work a new dimension, a sense of a living entity.
When in its natural environment it has a completely different presence, the ego is stripped away, it feels organic, and there is a pleasure in knowing the viewer is as spontaneous as the production itself. The sculpture catches the eye on passing, sucking the viewer into the form, it has to be studied in order to access if it is natural or man made. The fact it is man made is obvious due to the intricacy of the detail. This revelation adds a mystery and dynamic, the viewer has to question how something man made looks so settled and at one with the environment.
The technique was honed in the safety of the studio (no wind, rain etc.), this allowed the exploration of possibility, before transferring the ideas into their natural setting.
Once a dialogue with the material was created the question of location was tackled taking the practices of artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Long and Nils Udo as inspiration. Perhaps the most relevant is David Nash and his use of wood quarry’s, creating works in the site they are found. In all cases the artists connection with materials is paramount, the process of creation far more exciting than the post-documentation.
This has been a major advancement in understanding my own practice, I want people to ‘experience’ my sculpture, ‘feel’ what ‘I feel’, sense the energy and connection with material and reassess the beauty in nature.
This is the future of my practice, How can I create an ‘experience’, how can I make the viewer sense the kinetic charge as the work falls or the elation when it all fits together?
All the artists I am researching attempt this in various ways, yet there is a loss of the moment,(there is an action, but the reaction is a beautiful photograph).
The beauty of the documentation reduces the life of the sculpture to an aesthetic pleasure, not a connection with material or landscape, “I want the whole experience”- to hear the work fall, to sense the artists connection with material and location.
Can this experience be created into a package easier-enough and simpler-enough to engage the viewer? Or are my own sculptures destined to become beautiful photographs as well?