Though born on the Isle of Wight, most of my life has been spent living in cities across the UK - Birmingham, Manchester, London and most recently Bristol and Norwich. Since moving to North Norfolk in 2015 I have relished the openness, timelessness and beauty of the Norfolk countryside, and the return to a rural environment has influenced the development of my art practice. Largely self-taught, I work mainly in clay and have my work cast in bronze and other composite materials.
Perhaps surprisingly, it is not the vast open East Anglian skies and quality of light that are reflected in my current artwork. Instead I find myself focussing on small, almost unperceived elements and structures of everyday objects and creatures in the natural world. By bringing individual aspects to the foreground – the beauty in the twists and turns of dried plant material, the deep hollows and spirals of sea shells, the intensity of a swift’s gaze or the ferocity of its gaping mouth as it drinks in flight - I aim to create something which might encourage others to look afresh at the everyday things which are everywhere around us, and value our precious and increasingly threatened environment all the more.
My starting point for a new piece is usually a found object from the natural world which I have picked up somewhere – a shell, a seed pod, a piece of dried plant material, a fragile wasp’s nest - frequently an object which previously served as a vessel for life of some kind. After a few initial sketches I start making the form in clay, scaling the object up into a rough form, using an armature if necessary. The process of paring back down then begins, and as the work takes shape the patterns of the object start to emerge - lines and spirals, flows and curves, crevices and hollows – and these become the focus of the work, lending it rhythm and movement, becoming bolder and more abstract as the clay gradually hardens and the shape emerges from the mass. The process of refinement continues until I am satisfied that the piece is ready, at which point it is taken for casting in bronze, or cold cast in resin, Jesmonite or other composite finishes.