Monday, 31 August 2009

Harlequins gig in Chiswick

I have been preparing my harlequins for a gig at a Recycling event organised by Breathing Spaces UK Chiswick Business Park. Among the happenings an attempt will be made on the record for recycling a bag of rubbish for the Guinness Book of Records. The harlequin on the left has been exhibited before but it is a debut for the one on the right. To make that one stable I added a pet curling round its feet; its head is a flint. The armatures of the harlequins are made from odds and ends. The moustache came from a vacuum cleaner. The covering of the sculptures is recycled glass and chopped up CD's used for permeable paving, applied with silicone.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Imber the derelict village on Salisbury Plain

I went to Imber today on Salisbury Plain as the church was open and I wanted in particular to see the rare mediaeval wall paintings. They were hidden behind scaffolding as the church is being restored. Imber in the 1930's was a village totally owned by the War Department, except the property of the churches and the pub, and the surrounding vast area used for military exercises which co-existed with farming. In 1943 the village was evacuated at 47 days notice to allow street fighting exercises and it has remained uninhabited ever since. In 1961 an unsuccessful campaign was launched to try and prevent the permanent closure of the roads and to get the village restored. (As a child I went on a 25 mile car demonstration on the subject.) As a concession the Army allows access to the village at certain times of the year. The photos show the old manor house, Imber Court and the church behind a fence - the Out of Bounds sign is an order to the army.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Dante's Inferno

A bonfire produced this image of Dante's Inferno in my garden.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Olaudah Equiano

I have long been fascinated by the story of Olaudah Equiano who was taken as a slave a the age of eleven in West Africa to become a freeman in England campaiging against the slave trade and a best selling author. This is a sculpture by Christy Symington and it was on display at a book launch yesterday of "Equiano's Epigrams" by John Agard which tells Equiano's life in poetry. The book was launched at the Museum of London Dockland West India Dock. There are not many book launches where all those present are made to dance to instructions by an athletic Ghanaian dancer (the Nyanome Group). The sculpture has broken chains on the side (not visible in this image).

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Igbo Inspiration

I have been searching for an idea for a sculpture for a potential project in 2010 on the theme of biodiversity so I went to the British Museum, one of the world's most inspiring places. I want to reflect the idea of the interdependence of humans and the natural world. In many cultural traditions gods and humans become animals and vice versa. Sex was on themind of Zeus, the Greek super god when doing that sort of change - into an eagle or a bull or whatever - rather than biodiversity but there is in classical mythology the idea of the closeness of humans to nature, something often lost in the modern urbanised world. I thought maybe a totem pole with different creatures and humans joined in one might work. However, a totem pole does present logistical problems. In the African Galleries is this Igbo sculpture in which there is a melange of humans and animals. It stands on four legs which solves the stability problem. A starting point for my piece.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Driftwood Bedford Square

I came across this wonderful installation by chance in Bedford Square near the British Museum. Driftwood is the work of students of the Architectural Association and incorporates plywood slats provided by the Finns. It is there for a while (one website suggests that it should have gone by now ). Catch it if you can.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Cockatrice to go to Singapore?

I got a sales enquiry from Singapore for my Cockatrice, my Golden Raccoon and some other pieces. I will miss them if they go but it will make space to create some more. These were constructed from pieces of wood found in Wiltshire woodlands. The cockatrice was a monster with a cockerel's head in mythology. With three bits of wood I have created a sculpture of a cockatrice grappling with a multi limbed monster. Or maybe it is an amorous encounter.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

High Density CD horse unveiled at Horseworld Bristol

Yesterday exciting as Dean Williams' horse sculpture made with 3000 recycled CD's arrived at the Horsepower exhibition at Horseworld animal sanctuary near Bristol which I have been curating. The arrival was courtesy of DGT Transport of Lecicester who lent an enormous lorry and drivers free of charge for the day. High Density the horse rears up ten and a half feet. The BBC filmed its unveiling for the local news bulletin and showed some of the other sculptures.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Roadside Kill

There are some people who feed themselves on roadside kill, animals found by the road. I might if I knew what I was doing. However, I do collect odds and ends. I found the bit on the left beside the car park at Fleet Service Station on the M3 Motorway. It is anthropomorphic. I will mount it on the column on the right which was a chicken feeding trough. The column will be painted black. Black against green will look good in a garden. I will probably show it in the group sculpture show at the Bradford on Avon Festival in Wiltshire from September 18th to 27th 2009

Monday, 3 August 2009

The Last Tommy

I have been working on this sculpture for a while. The helmet was found decades ago in my garden which was the site of a camp in the First World War. It has a long crack (not visible in this image). Whether that was due to damage in war one can only speculate. For a long time the helmet hung in the porch and provided a nesting site for sparrows who carried on oblivous of people entering the house or sitting in the porch. But the sparrows have disappeared.
I wanted to create a memorial to those many men lying in graves in nearby Salisbury Plain who died of their wounds,dysentry and the flu pandemic having returned from France. I was not sure what to call this piece but the recent death of Harry Patch, the last surviving soldier to have fought in the First World War trenches, decided it.