Insect sketch from the imagination

Contemporary art sketch - insect print

Imaginary beetle sketch

Digital. 2012.

A digital sketch created for a print. It features a stylised insect drawn from my imagination.
The insect is drawn in a sketchy black and white style that is perhaps suggestive of images produced using traditional printmaking techniques such as woodcut, woodblock or linocut. It also reminds me of scraper board.
The black sky makes me think that it’s a nocturnal insect of some kind. It also looks a bit like a tortoise for some reason, with perhaps a bit of rhinoceros thrown in.

Circles and rays

Contemporary abstract art and science - circles and rays

Circles and rays

Digital. 2022

A print taken from a digital animation of expanding circles and rays.
The work is related to my interest in both art and science, and is inspired by the concept of the expansion of the universe.
I’ve been interested in both art and science most of my life. In fact in my youth (over fifty years ago) my ambition was to be an astronomer. I even constructed my own astronomical telescope, including grinding the parabolic mirror, when I was a teenager.

Art about oppression – contemporary political sculpture

political oppression art hammer sculpture

The Oppressor. A sculpture about oppression.

Hammer, nails, wood. 18x34x26cm. May 2023.

This sculpture is a work of political art, as it is partly a metaphor for oppression and rebellion.
The work shows a hammer empaled by nails.
Part of the concept behind the sculpture is that the hammer is being impaled by the objects that it normally hits – the nails. The hammer is a symbol of oppression and the nails are symbols of the oppressed.
But the sculpture poses the question – how did the nails manage to impale the hammer? Nails by their nature need a hammer, or a stand-in for a hammer, in order to be effective and to fulfil their purpose. Were the nails hammered into the hammer by another hammer? In that case the nails are not a metaphor for the oppressed rising up against their oppressor (the hammer) using their own power, but are more like the followers of another power (another hammer?) that may turn out to be as oppressive as the hammer that they’ve empaled.

This sculpture is a development of an idea that I had in 2010 when it started life as a drawing of a hammer with three nails in it.
Since then it developed into a 3D sculptural work composed of a hammer nailed directly onto a flat surface as though pinned down.
This further version has the hammer suspended above the surface and with many more nails driven into it so that it’s starting to resemble a nail fetish figure.

art about oppression - hammer sculpture
political art - sculpture about oppression

Surreal sea creature. Drawing from the imagination.

contemporary art surreal dada bizarre sea creature

A surreal sea creature drawn from the imagination.

Digital image. 6th May 2023

A bizarre sea creature created digitally in Procreate on an iPad. The shape of the sea creature is based on the number six, as the image was created as part of an exercise in which I sketched several images on my iPad based on the numbers between zero and nine. The concept behind the exercise was that by having to take into account the restraints of including a number in each image I would be forced to work with forms or shapes that I might not think up straight from my imagination.

When creating the sketch I was attempting to produce a bizarre, weird and sinister image. The result looks as though it owes a debt to surrealism, dada and the symbolists.

Three lengths of wood on a rock – land art

contemporary land art in cornwall uk

Land art, Cornwall, UK

Wood battens, acrylic paint. Length: 2m (variable). June 2018.

This piece of contemporary sculpture or land art was created on the granite rocks on the top of Zennor Hill in Cornwall, near where I live. It’s composed of three lengths of 2×2 inch wood batten of the type used in construction and joinery, painted with acrylic paint.

contemporary land art in Cornwall, UK

Abstract radiating lines and spheres

contemporary abstract art radiating lines and spheres

Abstract radiating lines and spheres

Digital print from animation still. 2022.

A print created from a frame from a digital abstract animation.

The abstract animation from which this print is taken consists primarily of brightly coloured repeating forms such as lines, stripes and spheres radiating outwards from the centre. The image here captures a particular moment in the expansion of the composition and has the status of a work in its own right.

The radiating lines and stripes, along with the bright colours, give the work a expansive and positive feel.

Dada and humour: Duchamp Fountain with added spider

contemporary dada – Duchamp Fountain with spider

Contemporary Dada: Duchamp Fountain with Spider

Digital image. April 2023.

A digital image based on Marcel Duchamp’s Dada artwork, Fountain. Fountain is a ready-made in the form of a pissoir. The version of Fountain in the image is in Tate Modern in London (Duchamp created several versions of the work using different pissoirs. The original version no longer exists).

In this work a spider is trapped in the pissoir in the same way that spiders are trapped in baths.

The spider hopefully adds an extra touch of humour to a work that is already humourous. The humour partly resides in the fact that it’s unusual to see a spider where you don’t expect to see one (in an artwork), but at the same time the spider is exactly where you’d expect to see one (trapped in a piece of bathroom sanitary ware).

I’m a frequent visitor to Tate Modern, and whenever I look at Duchamp’s Fountain I’m struck by how esthetically pleasing the form of Fountain is. I’m not sure whether or not Duchamp thought this himself or whether he chose the pissoir with no esthetic considerations involved.