Anthropomorphic Sculpture from Tools

contemporary sculpture from found objects

Anthropomorphic Sculpture from Tools

Steel pliers, magnet. 8x3x18cm February 2024

A sculpture composed of a pair of large pliers and a pair of small pliers. I suppose it fits into the category of sculpture made with found objects or sculptures made of scrap. The pliers are held together by a magnet, although they do actually balance without it, if a bit precariously. The resulting figure resembles a person with arms held high and with horns. Maybe a demon. The figure actually reminds me of a bodybuilder: the stocky torso and muscular legs, not to mention the pose.

Mirror art – Squaring the Circle

contemporary mirror art reflections

Mirror art. Squaring the Circle

Mirror, card, paper, acrylic. 28x28x18cm Feb 2024

A mirror piece consisting of a semicircle of card half of which passes inside a box-like construction. The semicircle and box are resting on a mirror so that the semicircle appears to be part of a full circle that enters and exits the box.

contemporary art mirror sculpture reflections

The reflection of the box makes the box appear to be half of a square structure, with the circle entering and leaving the interior of the square via its openings where the square is cut. This gives rise to the title of the piece, Squaring the Circle.

contemporary art mirror sculpture reflections

The mirror is a front-coated (or first-coated) mirror. Unlike standard mirrors that have their reflective coating on the rear surface of the glass front-coated mirrors have the reflective surface on the front. With a standard mirror the thickness of the glass creates a gap or space between the object on the glass and the reflection, while with a front-coated mirror the object and the reflection are ‘touching’.

Mirror art – Flite

contemporary art mirrors reflections

Mirror art. Flite.

Mirror, card, acrylic. 28x28x18cm Feb 2024

A wall mounted mirror piece.

A wall mounted sculpture composed of a mirror with a sculptural form made of card attached to its surface. The card is painted with acrylic paint.

contemporary art mirror sculpture reflections

The sculptural form is held in place on the mirror by a magnet attached to the back of the mirror. The magnet attracts a small piece of steel tape that is embedded in the card of the sculpture. This ensures that the sculpture can be held invisibly on the mirror, with no obvious means of attachment such as bolts or glue.

The mirror is a front-coated (or first-coated) mirror. Unlike standard mirrors that have their reflective coating on the rear surface of the glass front-coated mirrors have the reflective surface on the front. If a standard mirror had been used the thickness of the glass would have created a gap or space between the object on the glass and its reflection, while with a front-coated mirror the object and the reflection are ‘touching’.

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Art from everyday objects

contemporary art from everyday objects

Prestige

Prestige steel baking tray on front of glazed picture frame 46x60cm 2008

A work created from a mundane everyday object – a kitchen baking tray – mounted on the exterior of a glazed picture frame.

One of the motivations behind the work was to show the beauty and rich visual interest intrinsic in mundane objects from mundane environments.

Below is a detail of the intricate patterns and patina on the steel surface of the baking tray. The word ‘Prestige’ it the centre is an important feature.

contemporary art from everyday objects

I’ve been interested in the concept of finding beauty in the mundane ever since I admired the colours in the film of detergent on a wire mess kitchen utensil (maybe a cake stand) as it caught the sun. That was in my parents’ kitchen about sixty years ago.

Flight mobile sculpture – hands as wings

contemporary art fight mobile

Flight.

Wood, plastic. June 2022. Solo exhibition, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, Cornwall.

A mobile sculpture consisting of wooden spheres with plastic hands that form wings.

Hands are a recurrent theme in my work, as is flight. I’ve created several works that feature hands as wings, usually in the form of sketches and other drawings.

Using hands as wings is actually far from being far-fetched. The wings of birds and bats both evolved from hands (which is why birds and bats don’t have hands – it’s a choice of one or the other. Angels and fairies have both, but they are made up and are anatomically incorrect). Insect wings evolved along a different route, possibly from heat-gathering flaps or panels (insects being very dependant on the heat of the sun).

The symbolism of flight is linked closely with the concept of freedom. This link can be overstated, I think, especially when we project it onto the natural world. We envy the flight of birds, but birds don’t fly because they are free. Small birds that in theory can fly wherever they please often tend to spend their whole lives in a single place such as an individual tree. Some of them may migrate thousands of miles to reach their chosen tree, but they’ve possibly travelled there from another individual tree in a different part of the world. On top of this, on isolated islands that have no predators birds frequently lose the power of flight, so flying obviously isn’t one of their primary concerns.

Contemporary mirror art

contemporary art mirror reflections

Contemporary mirror art. Multiple reflections creating complete rings

Mirrors, wood, card, acrylic. 2023.

Two mirrors joined along their bottom horizontal edges are held at an angle to each other. Placed between the mirrors are three painted card sections of circles. Multiple reflections of the sections of card around the axis of the joined mirrors produce full circles. There are six reflections (or multiple reflections) in the mirrors, creating a full circle composed of seven sections.

contemporary art mirror reflections

A second component of coloured card is lying flat on the surface beside the mirror structure. The shape and colour of this second construction add another dimension to the assemblage as a whole. The fact that this part of the piece is in two colours and that it forms only part of a ring add to the resonance of the structure.

contemporary art mirror reflections

Below is a video of the sculpture. Because of the nature of the multiple reflections in the mirrors it’s particularly important to see the sculpture from different angles.

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Snail

Contemporary art print - snail

Contemporary art print. Snail

Digital photograph. June 2018.

A contemporary art print of an old snail shell on the top of a cylindrical marble plinth. The snail shell has lost all of its colour due to its age and the amount of time that it had spent outside in the elements. It is now almost indistinguishable from the marble of the plinth on which it rests.

The photograph is taken from a small sculpture that I created from a snail shell found in my garden (It’s the shell of a common garden snail, cornu aspersum).

One of the things that I like about this piece is the fact that the old snail shell is incredibly fragile and light while the marble is hard and heavy, yet they both look remarkably similar on the surface. It is a piece partly concerned with the nature of superficial appearance. It’s also aesthetically pleasing, with all of those curved and rounded forms.

The fragile snail shell evokes feelings about the fragility of nature and the environment in the time of the ongoing environmental crisis.