A friend suggested i should try to write a condensed statement in 10 words…
To convey through clay the joy of the human form.
Here is a longer one i wrote back in 2014 – it isn’t definitive and maybe i will revise some of the ideas at some point. It does still have some relevance to me though.
I find myself resistant to writing a statement. Not for lack of words, or indeed ideas, but from the simple thought that what I do should stand in its own context and space. Like an object in a deserted house or found in an overgrown garden.
There is a part of me that is suspicious of the takeover of our lives by the word that describes, or the constant snapping of photos that take the place of actual experience. By judging experience against preconceived notions, or read statements we hide from the actual experience, whether dreadful or glorious, or indeed somewhere in between.
As Robert Graves so eloquently expressed in his “The Cool Web”:
Children are dumb to say how hot the day is,
How hot the scent is of the summer rose,
How dreadful the black wastes of evening sky,
How dreadful the tall soldiers drumming by,
But we have speech, to chill the angry day,
And speech, to dull the rose’s cruel scent,
We spell away the overhanging night,
We spell away the soldiers and the fright…
I plan, yes, sketch and dream, certainly, but it is in response to the beauty of the human form before me that ideas coalesce and works are born. In the curve of a breast or hip, echoing the hills and living earth that surrounds me in my rural home. There is the start of each new adventure.
I try to weave the strands of Pagan belief, the songs and tales of the living seasons, the uniqueness of the sitter and the forms of nature into my work.
I am unafraid of the work being seen as decorative or giving pleasure, and hope that sometimes I can achieve pieces of beauty, fascination and delight.
Have I achieved what I set out to? Dreadful ? Glorious? Somewhere in between? I leave that to the viewer to decide…