Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Challenges of the project

There are several general challenges to this project but these are the kind of things familiar to anyone who is working to produce a body of work within a specific time frame. As usual reality has a habit of intervening and taking up time allotted for the studio. However, I know (more or less) the artistic and material parameters of most pieces I want to do for this exhibition and the preparation and planning is on track which is really the most important aspect of any project. The biggest challenge of all involves something I have never done before!

The piece which I know is going to be the most difficult to tackle for this project is a 3 metre sculpture that I will produce from a felled tree. The tree is from the Lee Valley Park and will form the basis for the first site-specific sculpture that I have ever worked on. This is a challenge that is beyond anything I have ever attempted before and as you can see from these images, the first challenge was moving the tree from its original site to the sculpture site! 

Planning is definitely the most important aspect of this piece because it will be done on-site in public view over a period of several weeks so I need to have a really clear idea of how the work could evolve. I am really looking forward to getting stuck into this aspect of the project but at the same time it is a little scary. I am hoping to create a sculpture that is artistically engaging and appealing to the public and also remains in complete harmony with its own environment.

The really exciting thing about this piece of work is that it will remain in situ after the exhibition. So it will become a permanent sculpture  in the Lee Valley along one of the main public footpaths leading to the Olympic Park.  I will post images of my progress on this sculpture as it emerges.


  1. It seems you are moving away from painting to sculpture and the results are very encouraging. Perhaps you feel that there is a greater freedom in the latter by not being confined to a maximum scale. From the photos of your latest work I can see a step change in your artistic stature and a good one it is too. Good work!

    1. Hi Pete

      Yes, this is a major shift in my work, moving from painting to sculpture. Having access to the Olympic Park and the Lee Valley Park sparked my interest in trying out sculpture; trying to respond to these physical environments in more physical manner, this could not have been achieved through painting alone. I have always liked sculpture but found it difficult in relation to making the physiological shift from painting. When you have done painting for along time its hard to build up the confidence to change. But the change was not that difficult as it turned out. I believe the reason for this is that my construction background helped. Having that physical understanding of how things are constructed helps, especially when you are using a variety of different materials. Working in sculpture is completely different mental process compared to painting, the gratification does not come until much closer to finishing the work, and than you make a turn and then, you start seeing the results. The only problem now is I want a bigger studio in able to go bigger.

  2. Tim Bennett-Goodman28 April 2012 at 06:09

    Having seen the work-in-progress in your studio a few weeks back I'm very impressed by how it's been going since then. I only hope this awful weather doesn't impede your work on the large outdoor tree piece - I think you might need to invest in an awning! I also agree you're going to need a larger studio at this rate. Good luck with this exciting departure in your work - but please don't give up on the painting. (Actually, when this sculpture project is complete it will be interesting to see what effect, if any, it has on your painting - I suspect it will.)

    1. Hi Tim

      I believe painting and sculpture will go hand in hand in the future when it comes to developing new ideas for work. After 20 years of learning how to paint I don't think I will give it up that easily.


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