A group of works composed of clusters of coloured ceramic cone-like forms.
The forms are individually rolled by hand as cones and are then distorted to create a sinuous waving effect. They are each between 1 cm and 25 cm tall.
The forms were conceived as purely abstract, however they have an organic feel to them and have something of the suggestion of marine or aquatic organisms about them. They could be worm-like creatures emerging from the sea bed and waving in the ocean currents.
I like to sit down with a sketchbook every so often and draw whatever comes into my head. Objects with bird-like features are a recurring theme. These slightly surreal dancing teapots are a good example.
This is a pen, ink and watercolour sketch drawn in Cornwall, April, 2018.
An abstract watercolour.
The painting is meant to be partly suggestive of pure abstract forms and partly suggestive of half a sphere hovering above a column.
The texture on the forms is created using a watercolour pencil.
Photograph: Heinz Beanz tin in washing-up bowl. January 2018.
This photograph is from an ongoing series in which I photograph mundane scenes and objects in everyday domestic settings. Other photographs in the series show such things as cup rings on work surfaces, shadows of soap containers cast by lightbulbs.
The photographs are all aesthetically pleasing (to me). One of their purposes is to show beauty in normally overlooked situations.
Abstract composition, created 2012.
The composition is a study in confinement, with the geometrical forms in the composition seemingly squeezed into the space within the composition. The angled square in the composition touches each side of the frame, which itself is a square. This adds to the composition’s sense of confinement as the image has no specific top and bottom and can be viewed in any orientation, giving the impression of ‘no way out’. Not only that, but the square format suggests that the enclosed square and its accompanying circles can almost possess a degree of freedom of movement by being able to rotate within the frame – a form of movement that in reality possesses no more freedom than does the movement of a hamster in a wheel.
A concept for an installation in the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, incorporating a zip wire or ski lift that traverses the turbine hall from the top of the east end to the bottom of the west end (thus utilising to the full the cavernous space within the hall). Date: 2017
En route from the top to the bottom the wire passes through the centres of a series of huge coloured rings that are suspended from the roof of the hall. The rings are positioned so that they create striking configurations when viewed from different positions on the floor of the Turbine Hall. Particularly impressive sight-lines would be from the west entrance to the hall and from the platform. The rings are linked together by struts that subtly fuse the rings into a single entity.
Use of the zip wire/ski lift would give the audience the opportunity to ‘fly’ through the centre of the artwork – an opportunity that to the best of my knowledge isn’t possible with any existing art installation.
As with many of the installations in the Turbine Hall, the audience interaction is an integral part of the work itself.
In the diagram I have added the option of a walkway that rises up from the hall’s floor in order to give earthbound members of the audience the opportunity to pass through one of the rings.
While at one level the zip wire is a reference to the current culture of organised and managed entertainment, especially adventure-orientated entertainment such as the zip wires in the various tree-top adventure centres that now exist in locations such as public parks and the Eden Project, at another level the wire can be seen as a physical ‘communication cable’ that allows people to override the normal laws of physics that keep them earthbound and to enter the artwork in an almost supernatural gravity-defying way, the cable being a physical analogue to the electrical communication cables used in digital technology that allow people to enter extraordinary but controlled virtual spaces.
The concept references several works associated with the Turbine Hall: One Two Three Swing! by Superflex, Test Site by Carsten Höller and Marsyas by Anish Kapoor. I think the Weather Project by Olafur Eliasson’s in there too.
This is an early version of a project that I’m working on: it shows a video of a hand in which the video is flipped as a mirror image in order to create a strikingly bizarre image resembling an alien creature.
The video is an attempt to highlight the way that even the things that we treat as totally normal and mundane are in fact full of strangeness and wonder.
In the video I’ve used the simple technique of mirroring something as a way of removing it from its normal context. Thus I’ve made something that’s as ridiculously familiar to us as our hands look so ridiculously alien and disconcerting. Who’d have thought that you had such strange things stuck on the ends of your arms?
A piece of abstract digital animation that uses my technique of overlaying multiple copies of the same image made to move relative to each other in simple ways and to interact with each other so that, for instance, the colour displayed in the resulting image changes.
This “starburst” animation is composed of multiple overlaid copied of a 36 pointed star.
A key motive behind these video animations is the linking of art and science through the exploration of the creation of complex forms from the interaction of simple forms, with particular reference to the creation of the incredible complexity of the universe from its incredibly simple building blocks. There’s more about this here: Complexity from simplicity: contemporary artworks.
This video, titled Spyk, is being exhibited in the London Group open exhibition, 7th November to 1st December 2017.
The video is from my series of videos in which multiple copies of relatively simple forms are rotated at different rates to each other, thus generating complex forms. There are more of them here.
The London Group was founded in 1913 by a group of artists including Lucien Pissarro, Henri Gaudier Brzeska, Jacob Epstein, Walter Sickert, Duncan Grant and Wyndham Lewis. Its aim was to be an artist-based group that could act as a counter-balance to establishment institutions such as the Royal Academy. Current members include artists such as Frank Bowling RA, Anthony Eyton RA and Dame Paula Rego.
It’s hard to tell how big this sculpture is from this photograph.
The square ends of the two blocks from which the sculpture is composed could maybe be a metre across. In fact they are closer to five centimetres, as the piece is created from lengths of two by two wood (two inches by two inches).
The work has a strange relationship with scale. It’s small, but it could be big. If there was a zoom facility for three dimensional objects that worked in a similar way to that on computer and phone screens, where you simply touch the surface and drag in or out to change the size, this sculpture would beg to be dragged just to see how it worked at different scales.
At it’s actual size this sculpture looks as though it’s happy at the size that it is, while somehow containing the spirit of a larger sculpture within itself. In some ways it gives the impression of being a large object that is somehow being perceived as being small, as though viewed through the wrong end of a telescope .
As I mentioned, this work is composed of two pieces of two by two wood. This is a common size of wood sold in long lengths in timber yards for use in general construction projects. This sculpture came about when I picked up two short offcuts of wood from a different project, that each had been cut at 45 degrees at one end, and placed them on a work surface on their angled faces. They instantly acquired a dynamic and vital presence. Due to the manner in which they rested at an angle they looked as though they were embedded in the surface with part of their form submerged.
One of the things I like about this work is that it is made from extremely simple components – two pieces of wood from a builders’ merchants and a bit of acrylic paint. Yet it doesn’t look like a work created in the spirit of ‘detritus art’ in which the work is deliberately engineered to emphasise its origins in the flotsam and jetsam of contemporary culture (Artists such as Philidda Barlow, whose work I like greatly, and Abraham Cruzvillegas come to mind as good exponents of this genre). In fact this sculpture could almost be mistaken for a tiny example of the ostentatiously highly engineered work that are quite common in modernist sculpture.