I was trained as an illustrator, but now I prefer working in clay. I like its tactile, earthy nature. I like using the elements of earth, water, fire and air.
And I enjoy the process of moulding clay, finding it a grounding and therapeutic experience.
I feel that I can relate to people more through my work if it is figurative. My work is about being seen, putting myself on show.
I am striving towards truth and honesty. I am not trying to create an idealised image. Each piece is individual. Each one is saying ‘This is it. This is who I am, with all the cracks, blemishes and wear and tear of life’.
I like work that shows the ghosts and traces of what made the object. At the same time the work attempts to show the ghosts, traces and scars of what creates the individual person.
The work translates into art in the way that life events register in the body. The figures may be seen as damaged but they keep on going. They may or may not be limited by the lack of arms, say, so they spread their wings. Through trauma or tragedy you learn something else … perhaps how to fly.
The figures without arms are complete as they are. The figures that start to develop wings are finding ways of being that paradoxically come from a lack. The wings are a metaphor for the spiritual element of the self.
I am working with both men’s strength and their fragility. The figures are strong but they are also real people. They show men with tummies, with small penises. Even the winged figures, the ‘angels’, have faults. They are not perfect beings.
In the process of creating the sculptures I try to allow the image to appear from the clay, as if setting something free rather than controlling its final form.