2019 seen a massive turning point for my Sculpture, I had great sales at the Art in the Garden Exhibition held at Culloden Hotel and Russborough House. It was a very Prestigious event run by Gormleys Fine Art, which saw my work exhibited beside such greats as Damien Hirst, Salvodor Dali to name 2. I was told my work would have sold several times over if they were in Bronze.
I had known this for years, however I have doggedly held to my craftsman principles and refused to give away any form of creative ownership of my work. I felt creating limited edition bronzes would do this. In retrospect this was naive and a little condescending to the many talented sculptors out there who work in Bronze.
At Culloden I had a conversation with a couple of the guys from Cast Foundry in Dublin. They convinced me that they could do my work justice and reproduce the detail of my originals. So I thought hey why not. So I decided to use my profits from Culloden and explore Bronze.
What I found was that Bronze versions of my work weren't reproductions, they were separate sculptures in their own rite. They had a greater sense of weight and presence.
I found the craftsman in me fascinated by each stage of the process and immediately thinking of ways I could adapt and tweak my sculptures at each junction so they would each have their own identity.
What I didnt like was how expensive it was to pay someone to do this and I wanted to do it myself.
What was my solution?
Build my own foundry.
As I type this its 4th of November 2020, we are in the '2nd Lockdown' www.hotmilkforge.com is closed and my sculpture has my full focus again. I've moved beyond creating reproductions of my forged and fabricated steel and copper sculptures. I'm identifying elements of my sculptures that are particularly successful and using them to create unique sculptures separate from the originals. I have 5-6 sculptures brewing away in my studio/foundry/forge at the minute that are following these principles.
Lets see where it takes us.
3rd Lockdown Update. 17th February 2021
Conceptually what does it all mean?
Since exploring the figurative it has caused me to stop and reevaluate what is my work really about. It is motivating me to stop just pushing my technical expertise and focus on concepttual expression. I know it sounds awful, but this recent work feels like I've starting to actually try, when before I just did. Perhaps that just me projecting a sense creative contentment......I'll go with that.
Here's some thoughts though.
Obsessing over technique experiments allows me to inform my aesthetic. I have decided to explore figurative work using my aesthetic to develop a new platform for existential thought through my signature abstraction. Creating an intimacy with my expressive forms allowing the observer to reflect on this as part of the introduction to whoever the figure is, as they see before them.