Friday, 26 March 2021
I'd like to thank the talented artist, Susie Olczak, and the rest of the Conscious Isolation team, for inviting me to take part in a series of live-streamed artists' presentations, organised in collaboration with the University of East London.
My talk can now be found on the Conscious Isolation YouTube channel. Unless it's now been edited, I suggest fast-forwarding the first 55 seconds, as it's mostly dead air - or is that very telling of how impatient I've now become with everything online?
In the talk I give a 40 minute overview of some of the key elements of my art career; focusing mainly on my sculptural work and touching on some of the main themes and motifs that run throughout it. The following 20 minutes of the hour-long video is a Q&A session, with Susie Olczak asking me the questions that were messaged in by the online audience.
The presentation starts off with a brief mention of my 'accidental' early career as an illustrator, then quickly moves on to me finding my feet as a sculptor.
In the presentation I cover the emergence of some of the elements that go on to recur in my work; elements such as the box, the tower, the orifice etc. I also talk about my interest in rusty nails and other found materials, and the influences of animators such as The Brothers Quay, as well as the influence of the totemic Minkisi carvings from the Congo.
Half way through the talk I do introduce some of my two dimensional work. Mostly of these are paintings; one of them being the commission of cover artwork for The Scaramanga Six's 'Chronica' album. Even though I briefly mention studying printmaking at Bournville College, before I went on to study sculpture at the University of Northampton, the only print featured in the video is my 'Spidey Pods' screen print (printed up for me by the talented artist/printmaker, Tony Lee). And that's only really in the video to show that it was based upon one of my earlier paintings.
I also go on to discuss various commissions, solo exhibitions, workshops, collaborations, and ongoing projects. Towards the end of the presentation I talk about how, as a child, I'd wanted to be involved somehow in film production. With this in mind, in the video, I share a few slides of instances where my work has appeared in feature films - some where my sculptures have been used and one instance where I created some prop artwork. I even manage to shoehorn in the script that I part-wrote with John Malkovich (through a Sony script writing project), which was then turned into the animated short film, 'Snow Angel'.
Lastly I'd like thank all the viewers who took the time to tune in to the live-streaming of the presentation, and for all the great comments and questions that they posted. I only wish I'd thought to share the live-streaming link a little more than two hours in advance.