Context

By choosing to make sculpture in bronze, I inevitably inherit unwanted interpretive baggage associated with the position of bronze sculpture within the history of European sculpture - and, equally perhaps, in Australian sculpture. I am trying to escape this by increasingly making work in mixed media - for instance, bronze and lead, bronze and copper, bronze and stainless steel, and also by omitting bronze altogether and making work in lead, copper and new materials such as polyurethene. As these works are completed they will appear on this site. I believe this practice places my work firmly in a twenty-first century context and challenges the viewer to try and see it more on its own terms (and perhaps alongside my other work), and less within a historical backdrop going back as far as early Greek sculpture.

Background

In the late 1970s I followed some part-time courses at Filton College, Bristol, UK, and this led me to decide in 1997 to retrain as a sculptor. After training at the Slade, London and the University of the West of England, Bristol, between 1997 and 2001, I went full-time as a sculptor. I completed a year as Artist-in-Residence at Wills Hall, University of Bristol, in 2001-02, and then left the UK to start practice as a sculptor in Melbourne, Australia. I now make sculpture mainly in the UK, but have retained the capacity to make sculpture in Melbourne at the Fundere foundry.

I take a deep interest in the contemporary context in which I work. My work is distinguished from much contemporary conceptual art by having a focus on the sculptural values of materials, texture, form, hue and space and on how these work together in the sculpture. I am committed to excellence in the process of making, and allow the process to inform and shape the outcome - sometimes this process is clearly visible in the finished work. What it shares with conceptual art is the importance of idea, or concept, in the genesis of the work.

It is hardly surprising, therefore, that organic and natural forms are important in my oeuvre, as well as geometric forms representing the way in which human consciousness reacts to creation. My work sits in a continuum of work by non-objective, non-representational sculpture going back to twentieth-century sculptors like Donald Judd, Barbara Hepworth, Jean Arp and even to Brancusi, but increasingly it seeks to combine and contrast the organic and the geometrical as a way of exploring what it means to be.

However, my work is not designed to be "read" as if it were a text. Rather, it is like a seed which I sow in your mind. What you make of it, and how the ideas which it provokes flow, constitute your own, personal response to the work. It is this response, whatever it may be, which matters to me as a sculptor. I am concerned to express what it means to be, and so the idea of Being underlies all my work. My ongoing series of works on the idea and experience of Memory is a good example of this - our memories are central to what it means to be a human being. Your response to any work of mine is part of your being, and it will be utterly conditioned by your preferences - indeed, by the whole way you are. One reason why in a number of my works you can see your own, imperfect reflection, is that I wish to call attention to the position of you, the viewer, in the process whereby the sculpture works as a work of art.

I believe that the appreciation of artwork greatly enhances our lives. I make work that the critic Robert Hughes would (I hope) call "slow art" - it is sculpture which "grows out of modes of perception and making whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel; art that isn't merely sensational, that doesn't get its message across in ten seconds, that isn't falsely iconic, that hooks on to something deep-running in our natures." (From his Address to the Royal Academy, London, 2nd June, 2004).