• Plastic milk bottle heads as a large wall mounted installation (visualisation).

    Contemporary environemtal installation – oversized plastic bottles

    Giant milk bottle heads

    Visualisation of wall mounted sculpture or installation. September 2018

    This visualisation is a development of my work in creating human heads from plastic milk bottles.
    The sculptural heads are vastly over-sized compared to the original plastic milk bottles.
    The size of the heads gives them an impressive air, similar to that created by, for example, Easter Island statues. The primitive markings that create the faces are reminiscent of ancient ritualistic statuary. These factors, the ancient and the impressive, give the work a tension due to the mundanity of the objects that are actually represented – discarded plastic milk bottles with fibre tip pen faces drawn on them.
    These heads are partly a comment on our throw-away consumer culture and the environmental hazard that it represents. The size of the milk bottles can be taken to represent the size of the problem of consumer waste, especially of one-use consumer waste (such as plastic milk bottles). The faces drawn on the bottles are partly a reference to the fact that it’s normal people who are generating the waste.

    The work reflects my interest in art and the environment (I created my first environmental art in the early 1970s).

  • 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.

  • Environmental art – a leaf changes colour in autumn

    Contemporary art in the environment- a painted leaf

    A Leaf Changes Colour in Autumn

    Leaf, acrylic paint. September 2018

    A maple leaf painted blue with red polka dots.
    The leaf had fallen from the tree in autumn.
    The inspiration for this work came partly from the fact that the leaves on the trees were changing colour in the autumn, prompting me to think of changing their colours in other ways.
    In previous years I’ve painted acorns and suchlike in unusual colours.
    Like a lot of my work, this work involved interacting with and responding to the natural environment.
    Unlike a lot of environmental art, my own environmenntal art often involves interventions of a deliberately unnatural nature, such as here where I’ve painted a perfectly nice autumn leaf in unnatural paint (acrylic) and in a design generated from human esthetics. This is partly to convey the way that we impose our tastes and our values on the natural world.

    Contemporary art and the environment - a painted maple leaf
    A detail of the painted leaf.
  • Travelling Glomeris Marginata

    Travelling Glomeris Marginata

    Video. Zennor, Cornwall. October 2018

    The creature in this video isn’t a woodlouse, it’s a pill millipede, of the species glomeris marginata.
    It’s climbing up the outside of a door frame.
    I was struck by the way that the millipede seemed to be gliding along its course up the door frame as though hovering slightly above it, as its multitude of legs are concealed. I also like the armour plating, which, along with the hovering, makes the creature look like either a high tech machine or an alien. Or a hybrid of both. The feelers help too.

  • Art in the environment – an umbrella clinging to a rock, Cornwall

    contemporary art in the environment - umbrella clinging to a rock, Cornwall


    Umbrella in landscape, Zennor, Cornwall. September 2018

    A work consisting of an umbrella clinging limpet-like to a granite rock on a hilltop in Cornwall.

  • Environmental art – heads created from discarded milk bottles

    contemporary environmental sculpture from consumer waste - sculptural head created from milk bottles


    Plastic milk bottle, ink    August 2018

    Slightly unsettling heads created from empty plastic milk bottles.

    Like many artists I have a habit of collecting waste and recycling it into works of art.
    The slightly sinister appearance of these heads, drawn as they are on post-consumer waste in the form of discarded plastic milk bottles, can be interpreted as a comment on the fact that we as humans are destroying the environment through (amongst other things) our profligate use of plastic packaging (I’ve been producinng work connserned with environmental issues since the 1970s).
    The fact that the heads also resemble the type of craft-play objects produced by children can be interpreted as alluding to the western world’s current tendency towards a philosophy of consequence-denying pleasure seeking in which the adults in society fail to take responsibility for their actions beyond immediate self-gratification.

    contemporary environmental art sculpture created from consumer waste - heads created from plastic milk bottles
  • Environmental art – umbrella clinging to a rock like a limpet, Cornwall

    contemporary art in the environment - umbrella, land art, Cornwall

    Art in the environment: Limpet

    Art in the environment: umbrella, granite rocks. 1st September 2018

    A work of environmental art consisting of an umbrella clinging to a granite rock on a misty hilltop in Cornwall.

    contemporary land art Cornwall - umbrella attached to a rock

    The umbrella in this work of contemporary environmental art or land art can be seen as representing shelter. Perhaps it’s shelter from bad weather caused by climate change or global warming. Umbrellas after all are primarily designed to provide shelter from the weather. The shelter provided by the umbrella in the face of climate change is however woefully inadequate. An umbrella after all is a very flimsy structure.

  • Umbrella clinging to rocks

    contemporary art in the environment - umbrella, land art, Cornwall

    Art in the environment:    Limpet

    Umbrella, granite rocks. Zennor Hill, Cornwall     1st September 2018

    A work of art in the environment consisting of an umbrella clinging to a granite rock on a windy and misty hilltop in Cornwall.

    The umbrella in this work can be seen as representing shelter. Perhaps it’s shelter from bad weather caused by climate change or global warming. The shelter provided by an umbrella in the face of climate change is however woefully inadequate. The flimsy structure of the umbrella can be seen as echoing humanity’s flimsy attempts to counter climate change.

  • The Scream

    The Scream

    Gouache on watercolour paper 24 x 23cm July 2018

    A gouache painting featuring a head with giant screaming mouth. The head has no body, and is situated in a desolate landscape.

    The scream is an existential scream, no doubt indebted to The Scream by Edvard Munch.

    The person in this particular Scream has no body, only a head. This is possibly to show physical impotence in the face of something terrible: the person can’t even try to run away.

    The barren and desolate landscape in the painting could be a metaphor for the existence in which the figure finds itself. Maybe an existential crisis in the face of an overwhelming but possibly meaningless universe (as in Much’s scream). I don’t actually believe in a meaningless universe, by the way, because I believe meaning is automatically generated by the existence of the universe. No religion needed.

    The painting probably reflects aspects of existential environmental anxiety, as the destruction of the environment has been a concern of mine for almost sixty years.

    It’s definitely a work of psychological art

  • Contemporary art and climate change: Stranded Object

    contemporary art, climate change and global warming - abandoned marooned object

    Contemporary art and climate change: Stranded Object

    Ink, gouache, digital, paper. 28x19cm. July 2018

    A work about climate change and global warming.
    The work contains definite ominous overtones. These are probably linked to the general atmosphere of foreboding that permiated society when the artwork was created in 2018 and that still permeate society today, chief amongst which was the phenomenon of global warming or climate change, which more and more threatens to disrupt the earth’s entire ecosystem and to turn civilisation as we know it upside down. And this is just the beginning.
    I’ve been interested in environmental issues since the 1960s when environmentalism was chiefly concerned with the various threats to wildlife as a result of human activity. Climate change or global warming were not generally in people’s awareness back then.
    Whatever the object is in this painting, it is abandoned or marooned on a featureless landscape that probably represents the devastated earth following the ravages of climate change and environmental destruction. The fact that the object looks very large is probably symbolic of the enormity of the threat that climate change represents.
    The imaginary object in the image bears some resemblance to an organic form, possibly a part of an animal’s anatomy – perhaps a horn or a jawbone. The slender forms that protrude from what may be the teeth of a jawbone or could possibly be legs, turning the form into something like an upturned crustacean. Whatever it is, the object has the feel of a decaying life-form. The object also has something of the feel of an unnatural artefact – perhaps a piece of rubble following the destruction of a building (with the slender forms representing metal rods in reinforced concrete).

    Having said all that, the work was not created with any particular symbolism or meaning consciously in mind. I’ve worked backwards from the finished image to find its possible meaning. I’m sure that it also has meanings that are purely to do with the workings of my own brain.

  • Dog Walk: art installation composed of dog poo bags

    Dog Walk: dog poo bags

    Plastic bags arranged on path. Unspecified contents. Video. Cornwall. June 2018

    A video of an environmental art installation in the countryside that comments on the behaviour of some dog walkers.
    The work features an avenue of discarded dog pooh bags.
    The work was inspired by the experience of going on many walks in the countryside and coming across discarded black plastic dog poo bags: sometimes hidden, sometimes in full view. There’s a theory that the dog owners leave them there to be picked up on their return, however, many of them don’t do it.
    The work was created near St Ives, Cornwall.

    Update, 2021. This work has taken on more relevance since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, as more people purchase more dogs, which in turn produce more excrement. The fact that some of the new dog owners are quite casual about their ownership responsibilities is reflected in a marked increase of discarded dog poo bags.

    Contemporary art dog poo installation

    The image above shows a related dog poo installation in an art gallery (visualisation).

  • Fin – art in the environment, Cornwall

    contemporary art - sculpture in the environment, St Ives, Cornwall

    Fin: art in the environment

    Photograph with digital drawing, September 2018

    A photograph of a natural granite rock formation with a drawing of a fin-like object added to the photograph as though it is attached to the rock.
    The rock formation in the photograph is on the Penwith peninsula in west Cornwall, a few miles from St Ives. The large rock on which the fin is  drawn is a rocking stone, known locally as a Logan stone. The stone is said to move slightly when pushed correctly.
    The image is a finished artwork, despite the fact that it resembles a concept study for a sculpture in the landscape. The drawing of the fin is deliberately  inconsistent in terms  of photographic realism with the rest of the image.
    Having said that, I’m not ruling out the possibility of an actual sculpture.

  • Hammers – photomontage for sculpture in the environment, Cornwall

    Contemporary sculpture  in the landscape Cornwall - hammers

    Hammers: sculpture in the landscape

    Photomontage visualisation. Cornwall. June 2018

    A visualisation of a concept for a sculpture in the landscape.
    The landscape in the photograph is the Penwith peninsula in west Cornwall.
    The hammers are meant to project a sense of overbearing force, the fact that there are several of them possibly implying organised force (such as military force). Hammers, to me, have a certain anthropomorphic quality to them, suggesting a degree of human identity – a long thin body with a head at the top. The blank facelessness of the heads of the hammers in this image suggest a mindless power (I’ve done other works in which hammers have faces).

  • Land art, UK. Cornwall

    contemporary land art Cornwall

    Land art on a granite outcrop, Cornwall

    Wood, acrylic. Zennor Hill, Cornwall, UK. June 2018

    One of my temporary sculptural works or interventions in the landscape near St Ives, Cornwall.

    There’s a tendency for land art to be either very ephemeral and transient (such as Andy Goldsworthy’s work with leaves) or very permanent (such as Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty). The photo below shows my work becoming very ephemeral indeed by floating up off the ground as if defying gravity. The photo was achieved by taking several photos of the wooden batons being held in the air and then photoshopping the holder of the batons out of the picture.

    Land art also has a tendency to involve circles, probably because of the circle’s links to some spiritual concepts (such as the circle of life, yin and yang, the cosmos etc). Spirals and other sinuous or organic forms are also common for similar reasons. I’ve chosen to go the other way with this work, employing very mechanical straight lines (as a comment on the common phrase “There are no straight lines in nature”) and primary colours that in nature are normally only seen in small concentrated quantities in such places as flowers and birds’ feathers.

    land art in the environment - abstract sculpture Cornwall
  • Art in the environment, Cornwall

    art in the environment - abstract sculpture Cornwall


    Wood and acrylic paint. Land art on Zennor Hill, near St Ives, Cornwall. 25th June 2018

    Land art sculpture composed of lengths of painted wood battens (the type of wood commonly used in building construction).
    The sculpture was created by positioning a small number of battens in the landscape, photographing them, repositioning them, rephotographing them and then merging the photographs.
    As a result the work has an interesting relationship with time. The sculpture never existed in its entirety as depicted in the photograph, each batten only being in position for long enough to take a photograph. The sculpture only takes on its final form when the twenty-five minutes that it took to position and photograph the battens are compressed into a single instant.

    A work of transient land art near St Ives,Cornwall: an intervention in the landscape, or art in the environment. The wood battens are about a metre long.

  • Land art – buttercup field with hidden object

    Land art – Buttercup Field, Rosemorran, Zennor

    Video. 27sec

    A video of a field of buttercups that contains a hard-to-see object near the centre-left.
    The object is revealed at the end of the video.
    The video is on a recurring theme in my work – an investigation into perception, reality and illusion.
    The video was taken behind my house at Lower Rosemorran, Zennor, in Cornwall.

    Spoiler alert – the nature of the object in the video is revealed in the next section.
    The scene in the video contains, on the ground amongst the grass and buttercups, a square mirror. The mirror is hard to see partly because of the distracting proliferation of buttercups, but mostly because the mirror is positioned so that the light from the sky doesn’t create give-away shadows or highlights (buttercups that are reflected in the mirror can look abnormally lit compared with the rest of the buttercups if the angle of the light is incorrect).

    Below is a photograph of the wider field in which the work took place.

    contemporary art video mirror perception illusion

    The work is filmed in an almost cliched, very peaceful and calming field full of spring flowers, which to me makes a nice setting for a work that at its most pretentious can be interpreted as being a prompt for questioning the nature of reality. At its least pretentious however, it’s just a nice visual joke.
    Mirrors and reflections have been a common features of my work for many years, with the first probably being this artistic experiment from about 1970.

  • Art in the Environment, Cornwall

    contemporary art in the environment, intervention in the landscape or land art, St Ives, Cornwall

    Art in the environment

    Coloured cord on a granite boulder, Zennor, Cornwall. 2017

    I’ve been producing art dealing with environmental concerns since the 1970s.

    The simplicity of construction of this piece is important. The observer will hopefully notice the almost total lack of endeavour required to create the work, while also noticing the (hopefully) relatively high aesthetic payoff as a result of that endeavour.

    A lot of land art and other art in the environment strive to use only natural ingredients in the composition of the art, good examples being the work of Richard Long and Andy Goldsworthy. This work however consciously uses artificial material in the form of nylon paracord.

    In the work the placing of brightly coloured plastic into the environment refers partly to humanity’s imposition of artificiality onto the natural world. This is partly a message about the despoiling of the environment by our endeavours. The fact that the nylon cord has been simply laid on the boulder (which took the effort of a whole three minutes) helps to reinforce this message, as the cord acquires qualities associated with the detritus of our instant gratification throw-away consumer culture. The fact that the cord is plastic reinforces this further.  However, the brightly coloured plastic actually looks quite pleasing on the rock, so the work is also saying that humanity’s imposition of artificiality onto the environment may have a positive side to it, at least to us (but also that just because something looks nice doesn’t necessarily mean that it is).

    In fact, where would we be without the artificiality that we impose on the environment? Hence some of the ambiguity in this piece.

    The rock is on low heathland behind my house at Rosemorran, Zennor, near St Ives, Cornwall.

  • Horizon Line – a cord stretched along the horizon. Land art or sea art

    Contemporary art  - intervention in the landscape, Cornwall

    Horizontal Line.

    Unmanipulated photograph. Cord stretched along the horizon: Zennor, Cornwall, UK
    Plastic cord, landscape. September 2017

    A photograph of a length of brightly coloured plastic cord stretched horizontally so that it coincides exactly with the horizon.
    This is an unmanipulated photograph.
    The work is partly about the all pervasive presence of plastic in our lives and the environment, with the piece of plastic cord se. he horizon created by the sea links the cord with the plastic pollution that is present in vast quantities in the oceans.
    As well being a metaphor for the plastic pollution in the oceans, the cord also signifies that plastic is in many ways a very useful and pleasing substance (without which our modern world wouldn’t be able to function). This is indicated by the fact that the cord creates a very pleasing aesthetic effect. The major problem with plastics is the complex molecular structures that are created during the creation of the plastic that mean that they decompose very slowly. If this problem is solved the plastic problem will be greatly reduced (although of course it will still be a problem, along with all of the other problems based on consumerism that we are inflicting on the planet).

    The work also exists at a purely aesthetic level, with an appeal generated solely through the juxtaposition of the horizon and the plastic cord.

    The work was created overlooking Zennor, Cornwall, UK.

  • Environmental art with coloured plastic cord, Cornwall

    contemporary art in the environment - intervention in the landscape, St Ives, Cornwall

    Art in the environment, Cornwall.

    Fluorescent coloured cord, tree. 2017

    A lot of land art and other art in the environment strives to use only natural ingredients in the composition of the art. This work however consciously uses artificial material in the form of a length of brightly coloured fluorescent plastic nylon cord.

    The simplicity of construction of this piece is important. The cord is draped over the branch of a tree and is pulled tight downwards to create two perfectly straight, vertical, parallel lines.
    The work is meant to create slightly confused emotions in the observer. In the relative darkness of its woodland setting the cord stands out as a source of brightness, and the two parallel lines are aesthetically pleasing amongst the twisted shapes of the branches and the leaves.
    However, the cord is bright because it’s unnatural fluorescent plastic, and the parallel straight lines of the cord are similrly unnatural and are partly a reference to humanity’s need to impose order on nature.
    This work was created at the same time as most of the other paracord works on this site.

  • Excrement in art

    contemporary art - excrement in art

    Excrement in art

    Dog poo bag discarded in art gallery. 2017.

    This is a piece of art that I created recently that’s inspired by frequent unpleasant encounters with dog poo bags while out on walks in the countryside.

    On one walk along a popular track up a mountain in Wales last year the poo bags were so frequent that they inspired me to conceive of the idea of a path lined with an avenue of poo bags.
    I’ve created a work based on the concept here.

    For the work in these photos it was a small step to move a single bag from the countryside to the art gallery. The question is, is it a real dog poo bag or not? All that I can say is that it’s described as being ‘mixed media’.

    contemporary art - excrement art