Spider heads – pencil sketch from the imagination

contemporary art spiders - pencil sketch from the imagination

Spider heads.

Pencil on paper. 20.6.2022.

I frequently draw imaginary heads in unusual situations. On two of these ‘spider heads’ I’ve turned the hair on the heads into long spider legs, with the heads forming the anatomically incorrect spiders’ bodies.
I think the spider legs in these sketches probably owe something to the spiders of Louise Bourgeois. The spiders may also be influenced by the work of Symbolist artist Odilon Redon, whose The Crying Spider has definnite similarities, although I don’t remember having seeing it before I drew my sketch. I did read a book about Symbolism back in the 1970s, Dreamers of Decadence by Philippe Jullian, so maybe it was in that (When I say I read the book, I mean that I looked at the pictures).
Like many of my imaginary sketches these were drawn over a cup of coffee in a cafe.

Pencil sketch from the imagination

contemporary art drawing from the imagination

Ball with multiple arms and legs.

Pencil on paper. 10.8.2022.

I often carry a sketch book with me in case I have a free moment when inspiration strikes. I drew this in a cafe over a cup of coffee.
It incorporates several motifs that recur in my work (spheres and arms and legs).
I think that the idea is that the imaginary creature in the drawing moves forwards by rolling from leg to leg rather than by swinging its legs as we do.
Like most of my work, it’s purely from my imagination (and the imaginations of artists and illustrators that I’ve seem previously and that have seeped into my subconscious).

Contemporary art print: dandelion clock figure

Contemporary art print - dandelion clock figure

Dandelion clock figure.

Pen and ink drawing with digital additions. This version: July 2022.

This print shows a dandelion seed head, or dandelion clock, with one of the seeds in flight. The seed resembles a human figure.
The image could be symbolic of freedom, although the slightly sinister nature of the image makes this ambiguous.


Contemporary sculpture - sphere with hands


Wooden spheres,plastic hands. May 2022.

A sculptural piece consisting of toy plastic hands ( sometimes known as finger hands) attached to wooden spheres.
The hands are almost the only anatomical feature possessed by the spheres. This makes their function ambiguous – are they actually hands, or are they feet?Or even wings?
The ‘creatures’ in the procession are quite unsettling. Their lack of anatomical features other than hands gives them the impression that they are crawling clumsily and blindly forward.
Other artworks in this series feature these objects suspended by thread on a mobile. In these works the hands unmistakably also function as wings. In the natural world the wings of birds and bats have evolved from hands (or front feet, which are what hands have evolved from), so the idea of hands being used as wings is far from far-fetched.
This work is partly inspired by my interest in evolutionary science and the natural world, and partly by my interest in the bizarre and the ambiguous.

Political protest art – the Oppressor Impaled by the Oppressed

Political contemporary art - hammer sculpture - oppression overthrown by the oppressed

The Oppressor Impaled by the Oppressed. Hammer and nails sculpture.

Hammer, nails. This version, May 2022. Original concept, 2010.

This sculpture is partly a metaphor for oppression and rebellion.
The work shows a hammer nailed to a surface by nails.
Part of the concept behind the sculpture is that the hammer is being impaled by the objects that it normally hits.
How did the nails manage to impale the hammer? Were the nails hammered into the hammer by another hammer? In that case the nails are not necessarily a metaphor for the oppressed rising up to overthrow 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’s been overthrown.
The use of handyman’s tools such as hammers, pliers and spanners is a recurring feature of my artwork.

Metamorphosis – recycling in contemporary art

Environmental art - contemporary sculpture from waste packaging

Metamorphosis (from pie containers to insect larvae)

Wood (recycled food containers). 2021.

A sculpture fabricated from recycled wooden pie containers.
The pie containers, for Charlie Bigham pies (mainly fish pies with the odd cauliflower cheese in there), are stacked as curved forms suggestive of insect larvae such as caterpillars or grubs.
Insect larvae undergo metamorphosis when they change into the imago or mature form of the insect. Here the pie containers have undergone a similar metamorphosis by turning into the insect larvae.

This work reflects my interest in the natural world and the environment, as well as my concerns for environmental issues caused by human activity (this work being an example of recycling or upcycling of consumer waste).
An example of art made from scrap material. A form of arte povera perhaps.