Beauty and the emotional response are my ever-present tools. I keep them in mind when guiding the figure into position, they are close at hand when working the clay, when constructing my armatures, building up the bones, laying on the muscles, when forming the skin and creating the clothing.
I work from the inside out. There are generally four or five sculptures within each figurative piece I create, starting with the armature, then the principal skeletal portions and bones, the major muscles, the skin and then clothing. This technical focus on and understanding of human anatomy and form provides me with the accurate rendition I am seeking, and only when I have that, do I have the freedom to pursue and anticipate the emotional response I am looking for from the viewer. When I work, the viewer is always present.
There is a tension between intuition and technique, between concept and emotional reaction; a give and take, a back and forth, a struggle that seems to come to rest with the viewer’s response to my work. This creative dialogue hinges on the relationship between me, my art and the viewer. When conceptualising a sculpture, I always consider movement, the flow of the form and the negative space that form creates. If I know where the piece will be displayed I also consider how it relates to its environment, the space that it occupies and its size. After these considerations, I contemplate what reaction I hope to instil in the viewer. These considerations are at the same time of the mind and body; they share a precarious balance and ultimately, result in a work that can be seen and felt.
Clay touches my traditional values. Humans have been using clay for more than 10,000 years; building with it, writing on it, using it to cook and store food. It has played a significant role in the evolution of mankind and is found on every continent. It can be worked right out of the ground and is as basic and noble a material as one can find.
I have come to recognize that people who view or live with my work acquire a much richer appreciation for the piece when they are equipped with a more intimate knowledge of the creative and technical process. It has therefore become my goal and passion to cultivate this understanding by inviting those who commission my work to collaborate and be a part of the development of that particular piece. By participating in this evolution from birth to conclusion, the viewer is witness to my technical knowledge, skill, enthusiasm and love of creation, thus gaining from and contributing to the creative process as a whole. This results in a hugely satisfying experience providing a greater understanding of art, and ultimately, of ourselves.
Sculpting has become the fabric of my life.