About the Artist
I am a sculptor working with molten glass as my primary medium. I studied glass making in the Historic Glass Quarter, Stourbridge, where I developed my basic skills that are the essential foundation for creating works in this challenging medium.
It has been a physically and psychologically demanding journey creating and developing my Still Life series, and the idea of a journey is a key element to consider when viewing my work as a whole.
I have never been interested in populating the world with numerous copies of my work, and because of this I only occasionally replicate a composition. The novelty of each development has a significant impact on me personally and, almost like a gambling addiction, I am constantly looking to regain that feeling of achievement or overcome a failure.
This constant searching or striving for an ideal composition or concept has given me a greater understanding of the genre as a whole, and the obsessive nature of it.
Working with Still life also appeals to my love of variety in my professional practise, and through this format I have the freedom and privilege to explore everything from traditional goblet construction to complex, multicomponent sculpture.
My work also utilises almost every conceivable technique in glass making. Complex and subtle colouring techniques along with cold processes like cutting and polishing, surface decoration, texturing and a host of sculpture techniques many of which have taken years to develop and master.
My interest in Still Life began early, before I had even considered a career as an artist. I was taken to see an exhibition of M C Escher’s prints in London, and the exuberant use of optics, reflection and refraction imprinted themselves on me. They are such iconic images and it is only upon closer inspection that you learn that the depiction of glass is not only literal but also implied. There are few better ways to explain the ‘Relativity’ staircase than with the use of mirrors.
As in Escher’s work, glass is often a key element in still life painting and usually acts as a demonstration of luxury and, on a more practical level, a demonstration or the painters’ skills.
The glass bottle is the most common and mundane of glass object, instantly recognisable in function and form and heavily depicted in still life as both context and subject, but in many ways it is what has formed the basis of most contemporary glass art.
Making bottles always feels like heading towards the centre of the Still Life concept; the process of elevating the domestic and every day to a state of grace. The individual objects alone can be seen as having have little worth beyond their initial function but it is the combination and composition which gives them value and visual impact.
And here the idea of a journey re-emerges for me. I am constantly looking to the past for inspiration, from both the rich and varied history of fine art and from the technical and aesthetic history of glass making which, since the advent of the studio glass movement in the 1950s, has constantly shifting paradigms as to what exactly defines it.
And while I am aware that what I am doing is by no means a completely novel or new approach to sculpture or even to ‘glass sculpture’ as it is still defined, I am determined in adding my voice to a larger tapestry of artists and innovators throughout history.