Milk bottle heads – sculpture from recycled rubbish

Contemporary art - sculpture from recycled rubbish or junk - milk bottle heads

Milk bottle heads
Plastic milk bottles, ink. September 2018

Plastic milk bottles with human heads drawn onto them.
These heads are an example of art created from rubbish. Their recycled nature is partly an observation on our throw-away consumer culture.
The bottles are surprisingly head-shaped, reminding me somewhat of various non-Western forms of sculpture. I particularly like the way that the milk bottle handles make very interesting and bizarre noses.
I’m in the process of making several dozen of them, as their impact is increased as their numbers increase.

Disembodied Hands – near St Ives, Cornwall

Contemporary art - disembodied toy hands on a rock near St Ives

Hands
Plastic hands, granite rock, Cornwall. Each hand, 7cm. October 2018

A pair of toy plastic hands positioned on a granite rock.
The hands give an unsettling feeling about the presence of the rest of the person to whom the hands belong. It’s almost as though the rest of the person is there, but in a ghost-like, invisible form.
It is in some ways a piece of art about presence and absence.
The work was created near St Ives, Cornwall.

Contemporary art, Cornwall - dismembered toy hands on a rock
A closer view of the hands

Shoe Heads – surrealist sketch

Surrealist shoes

Shoe Heads
Ink sketch on paper. 23cm x 23cm. August 2018

An ink sketch of two figures with shoes as heads. The shoes are a pair.
This is one of a series of concepts involving shoes and other footwear in varyingly surreal contexts.
My intention is to create a sculpture of this group.

Stone eye

surrealism in contemporary art - giant stone eye

Stone eye
Ink, gouache, digital. July 2018

A sketch of a gigantic stone eye resting on the ground. A mysterious pipe-like cylinder extends upwards from the eye. A similar eye in the distance shows the pipe-like structure extending unfeasibly high into the air.
The eye and pipe bring to mind some designs of stove.
Perhaps the image is influenced by Celebes by Max Ernst, in which the rotund form was derived from a Sudanese corn bin..

Wellington boots with arms – photomontage

contemporary surrealist photomontage - wellington boots with arms emerging

Wellington boots with arms
Photomontage. June 2018

A photomontage showing arms emerging from the tops of a pair of wellington boots.
The arms are sinking down into the boots, as though the footware is devouring the owner of the arms. The theme of predatory footwear is one that I’ve explored several times over the past few decades. Another example can be seen here – shoes with teeth.
This photomontage was created while I was exploring various options for creating a sculpture that included wellington boots. I feel that these boots have a strong sculptural presence, and I’m quite surprised how under-represented they are in the field of sculpture.
The image, which I think probably falls into the category of contemporary surrealism, is meant to be both humorous and unsettling.

A surreal alignment of heads

surreal photography - strange alignment of heads

An alignment of heads
Unretouched photograph. May 2018
A photograph of two people standing in a way that makes their heads seem to merge in an unsettling and humorous way.
The bizarre, surreal effect of the photograph is enhanced by the uniform bright red background and the colour the clothing. The photograph was taken on a ferry between Oban and the Isle of Mull in Scotland, May 2018.

Dancing teapots

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.

Last Cigarette – a surreal found object sculpture.

Surrealist contemporary art - shoe last smoking cigarette

Last Cigarette
Shoe last, cigarette, lamp base. May 2018

A shoe last mounted on a lamp stand and with a cigarette inserted into the circular hole in the last that is designed to accommodate a handle.

The sculpture utilises the human tendency to pareidolia, the interpretation of shapes as human faces, to create a surreal head.

Umbrella Cone

contemporary art drawing - surreal umbrella

Umbrella Cone
Ink drawing with digital colour. June 2017

A sketch of an umbrella protruding from the top of a cone.
This sketch combines my interest in umbrellas with my interest in vaguely geometric forms in the landscape.
The stone-like objects (which may be organic) with points or spikes protruding from them add a further surreal component.
The reversed signature shows that I’ve flipped the original image round, which I do quite frequently in order to evaluate the composition of images. I obviously decided to leave this one reversed.

Shoes with teeth

surrealist shoes with mouths and teeth

Shoes with teeth: January 2017

A study for a surreal work composed of a pair of shoes with mouths and teeth. The teeth in this study were added digitally.
The shoes were chosen partly because the holes at the toe end give the impression of eyes.
An unsettling aspect of this concept is that it is normal for a person to put their feet into shoes – however these particular shoes look as though they would devour anything that was placed in their ‘mouths’. They are almost lying in wait for feet to be placed inside them.
This work may be interpreted as being a metaphor for the manner in which consumerism devours people (especially clothing and fashion consumerism).