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Oki Coki, Pig In A Poki

February 7, 2013


From The Waste

I have been making sculpture for nearly thirty years now and recently reached a point where I needed to change my direction, I could have gone on in the same vein but felt that I was experiencing limitations. So I started the process of altering my approach, I started by deconstructing my own work and exposing the process which seemed the most logical way forward, after all it’s about a personal evolution and I needed the reassurance of connectivity. It’s been a difficult time because this new approach to work is very much  in tandem with producing work the way I always have and often means double the work but I am getting somewhere even though it’s personally quite challenging. The process of deconstructing my own work led to a personal deconstruction where by I have had to remove my armour of identity built by my sculptural journey, once stripped of this I have been exposed and vulnerable. But it is this vulnerability that is leading to a more open-minded approach and while it is tempting to build another suit I prefer the thought of a more open and exposed approach because I am starting to feel a breeze of freedom. And freedom I feel is key to exploring your own truth of being which is what I am starting to think art is all about in its purest form.

So in the first period of my sculpting life I was able to work through issues of confidence , self-esteem, resolve insecurities, develop a visual language, explore form and composition, develop an intellectual approach, acquire practical skills and survive in the real world as a sculptor but in a way this now feels like it was all a precursor to becoming an artist free to explore with a rich palette. All I have to do now is take this opportunity and run with it and explore the uncertainties of life.

Key to all this is my continual reflections as I need to work in the thick of it in a practical sense but I also need the perspective of an overview to keep a balance, even if it just a means of explaining and contextualising for myself. I guess it’s a broadening  of the lateral thinking process whereby there is nothing to lose from an open mind but much to gain.

It’s funny but I always shied away from writing and often spoke about it with derision but as often is the case I have had to make another flexible u-turn because I now see it as a vital part of my process, a way of structuring my thoughts and processes into a semi-coherent structure. The act of writing seems to force an order upon things like nothing else a kind of structure that often cements ideas that otherwise just float around as thoughts and by writing down statements you can move forward slightly less burdened ready to embrace something new.

Now back to why I started writing this morning, I was thinking about how my life’s work affects the way I look at things and how when I’m in my studio I am driven to distraction by  objects and the possible juxtaposition of them, its like I can’t get enough time to play around with the possibilities and no matter how many variations you try there are always more.  I guess it was about a year ago when I felt this massive shift in my perception and outlook where my (small & chaotic) studio started to resemble a mad scientists lab as opposed to a sculptors shed. More of a place for experimenting than the usual sedate environment of formal sculpting. The one thing I do know is that I’m on the right track as I constantly feel inspired to write, work and think about art and life with passion, commitment and belief.

My horse with the coke bottle sums up a whole attitude of embracing what is before you and reacting to it, chance offers so many opportunities and whether or not it is chance or just embracing  circumstance, who knows, but it’s observing a relevance in the ordinary.

cokeOf Beautiful Accidents (Oki-Coki)

ExperimentalsDeconstructing Early Works

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