Tuesday 7 October 2014

Around the World Creative Blog Hop Post

I have been nominated by my fellow artist, the bearded and very Scandinavian Martin Olsson of Buxton (http://notestoothers.blogspot.co.uk) to take part in this project, called "Around the World Creative Blog Hop", so without further ado, let's hop in...

(At the end I will nominate three other artists to do the same: answer these four questions in any way they see fit, and publish the answers via their blog; then they will nominate three new artists to do the same, and so on...)  Here goes!

1.  What am I working on?
I work in clay, and the finished ceramic form, after it is fired, is worked on like a painting with acrylics. The surface acts as a canvas and adds an important new dimension to the white shape that emerges from the kiln, adding its final personality. I am open to new and instinctive ideas and do not have much of a preconceived plan. These green markings (below) - apart from being an abstract pattern - allude to the lozenge shapes of medical pills, or viruses observed through a microscope. This gives the sculptural form, an inert object, a kind of "life", in that we are all made up of chemicals that affect our character and moods at all times.
Beacon H110W35D26 cms

Line H122W64D30 cms

The above piece was directly inspired by one of Martin Olsson's paintings. Sharing ideas with a community of artists can be surprisingly inspiring - not only for the generosity of support, but also for eye-opening ideas that take your work in new and exciting directions.The sculpture below is all about the juxtaposition of one colour against another and how the effect can alter with quite subtle changes of emphasis or arrangement. It's a continuously fascinating process of discovery.

Stripe H116W58D22 cms

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The reason my work is different is that, though it is ceramic, it is not in the tradition of clay work in this country. In fact, it is very much sculpture, but sometimes I am perceived as somewhere between the two. I seem to fall between two stools but my sensibility is firmly as a sculptor. My interest is in a simple form and a dramatic line. Recently (as below) I experimented away from ceramic and created a group of wall pieces - but, as can be seen here, they are still very much in my own visual style.
Kinetic Each piece 34x38 cms approx painted MDF

I love experimenting with a repetitive motif, like these spots: they break up the surface, and also cause a kind of clash with the simplicity of the shape, hopefully a dislocation that is exciting and pleasing. It's almost fighting the idea of the form being "safe" and making it a bit challenging - which I like. It's also challenging the idea of anything "traditional" in ceramic terms.
Serendipity H70W33D20 cms

Cyclic (Wall Piece) H49W20D9 cms

Strike H43W41D10 cms

3. Why do I create what I do?

It's really the urge to make something that makes me, the artist, go "wow" - and possibly even the person who looks at it: but the first person that has to be pleased is me. It's a visual adventure and I'm never sure of the finished point until I get there. There are no exact diagrams or maps of what to aim for, just a purely instinctive wish to catch some moment of emotion or drama, not depicting anything tangible or representational, but just a feeling that others might experience too.

Emerge H67W44D44 cms

4. How does my creative process work?

I don't prepare with drawings, and I don't start from a theoretical or intellectual perspective - all that emerges later if I'm lucky. For me it is all about the practicality and working with the hands and the eyes. It is better to keep any conscious intention out of the way and let the dialogue happen between you and the material. After a while, if you are a professional and dedicated, that is just a groove you get into and there is nothing quite like losing yourself in it. You can even lose yourself in it too much, as I sometimes do - forgetting to eat or take a break, and getting immersed in the thousands of little marks, as on the surface of the piece above. Sometimes it is a crying shame to come back to real life afterwards. 
Pry H93W10D18 cms

Thank you for reading my answers in this Hop! I will now ask the following artists to take me up on my offer, and I really look forward to reading their thoughts!

Louis Hawkins                       
Ray Richardson                    rayrichardson.co.uk
Michele Howard Rashman