About 2

Reliefs and Walls

When I first discovered relief, ancient pictures cut into stone, the immediacy of these drawings was particularly moving; an Egyptian artist feels the face of a bull into fine limestone, intense and gentle; 3000 years away I stand watching, seeing it as it happens, timeless, unforgettable. 

In the Reliefs and Walls each piece essentially starts from an interaction with my materials and the place where I’m working; a working narrative builds, not the telling of a story but something conceptual, barely conscious, a feeling. The speed of work varies greatly according to the physical process and to how bits and pieces start to fit. They begin to realise an authentic physical identity. (In the Walls, some form of regular rigid mould may be devised). Whatever the mix from which it’s come, it is just the remaining material together the light that are the measure of what it is.

All of these pieces involve plaster, the material I love. It might appear that I am trying to exploit as much as possible of its great range of properties, but if so, it remains part of the unconscious narrative, moving from one piece to the next, taking something or going afresh. If something new should intervene, it may only be realised when the piece is done. I may want to go further, but if I listen it will stop me.

Reliefs and Walls reflect two aspects of my interest in sculpture and form, simplicity and movement. I am happy when I can produce simplicity – contained energy. In my study of medieval architecture, I fell in love with the Romanesque; its simple geometry and articulation of forms and details stay with me. I feel it in the work of Donald Judd, his understanding of surface against form and volume, and in Bruce Nauman, his installations, joining idea and physical form together as one. 

Movement starts with people, individual or in crowds, the quietly restrained movement in the aisle of church or the noisy rushing jostle, the messy movement of a crowd in a square. My desire to work with freedom and allow form to find itself was encouraged by the immediacy and energy of German Expressionism, as I first encountered it in graphics of Der Brucke. Most movingly I find it last great works of Donatello and Titian, passion and energy released in the face of death.