An exhibition of bronze sculpture at artSpace Durban August 2011
Bronze is a wonderful medium, versatile, strong, durable and aesthetically pleasing. The potential is unlimited. I have been creating bronze sculpture for the last 10 years, mostly classical representational sculpture; birds, animals and the human form. This exhibition has taken me on an exploration to further my expertise and deepen my understanding of self and my relationship to this existence.
I must create three dimensional art works. The beauty and wonder of the human form in sculptures, life-size figures and larger, dripping off old buildings and inhabiting public squares, seen in Europe and around the world, have always had a profound effect on me. Since a young age I have had a desire to explore what I see and feel by creating with my hands, to create large works, and especially the human form. I use a plasticine (wax based) medium to model my sculptures, before being cast into bronze, exploring the potential that this medium affords: molding, melting and carving.
Bronze sculptures are cast as hollow structures no matter what the size, and this innate strength in the bronze has allowed me to explore the human form from three perspectives: the physical body, the internal confusions of mind, mingled with emotions and how this mind/body entity influences the world it engages with.
With the human form I play with shape, exploring the relationship between parts expressed and parts imagined, where do the boundaries begin, where do they end; ultimately being seduced by the relationship of the dynamic human male form and the environment around it. The surface texture reflects light and creates an illusion of life and movement.
I have chosen the male body because it represents to me the aspect of myself which is intrinsically masculine in nature: organised, achieving, linear, strong, physical, athletic, yearning to be free and desperate to control my environment and my life. I have chosen specific parts of body postures which show a gesture, but do not give away all its secrets. This external body section is essentially the same for each bronze of the edition (15 each for this body of work), being extracted from the silicon rubber mould during the lengthy casting process.
In contrast to this is the feminine aspect of myself: dark, deep, mysterious, emotional, hidden, changeable, unknowable, uncontrollable, powerful, creative, connected to the flow of life and the natural world. I explore this aspect of myself by playing with the inner part of the bronze. In the wax form, the inside which does not touch the pre-modeled part of the mould, becomes a playground. I implant combustible found objects, usually found in the countryside, when I run and walk, into this canvas like surface. Combined with drawings and relief modeling, these hidden treasures are unique to each bronze of an edition, and are dictated to by my whims and fancies on the day.
Layer upon layer I observe different aspects of myself and my relationship to my surrounding environment. I question the authenticity of my cultural and societal perceptions, so often manipulated and controlled by unseen human influences. I ask what of these are real, what are my own and what is culturally based? Essentially I ask of myself what is my truth and how do I continue to engage with a world which may not be quite as it seems. I move forward then back, but always moving further into the depth of these questions.
My influences are varied, and span history, art and literature. Rodin , Michelangelo and Bernini are the masters of sculpturing human form with a dramatic edge and I always go back to their sculptures for inspiration. Ken Wilber, Jed McKenna and David Deida are authors who have more recently inspired me; influencing and challenging me to search for my own truth.