I was pretty hands-on with tools from about the age of 10. I made skateboards and go-karts next door in my grandfather’s workshop at the end of his garden, but I also made objects that really didn’t do anything; I just liked the way different shapes connected. I think these were probably my first sculptures.
As I grew up, I couldn’t see being sculptor a viable career option. I knew that was who I was, but I didn’t know how to be it.
When I left school, I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I had always wanted to travel, so first, I went around Europe then the US, Canada, New Zealand, and India. I worked along the way fruit picking, landscaping and general laboring. In Australia, I got a job at a steel works factory. The highly skilled, self-assured character of the men who worked there and the strong sense of camaraderie really appealed to me. I loved the heat and the clatter of the place. This was the first time I learnt how to form steel, I took this experience back to the UK and went to an art school that specialised in blacksmithing. This was followed by an apprenticeship, and then I opened my own forge in London, which gave me the time to develop my art practice alongside the commissioned work I was producing for clients at the time.
Travel remains an important source for my work, and if I can’t get away, there are so many great museums in London. A new series usually starts this way. Recently, a visit to Iceland led to a series of sculptures inspired by the coastal communities and the fishing boats in the harbours around the country. The initial idea became an abstract memory. Sculpture has its own language, and I aim to tell a story like a poem or a song but without word. This is how I want to reach the viewer.
Recently, I moved to a new studio. This had an effect on my work in a way I did not expect. The studio is much closer to home, and this has changed my working pattern. Now, I tend to work either in the day but also late into the evening, which has led to a more thoughtful process with reduced elements. My current series of sculptures are probably the most intimate work I have produced.
Although based in the UK, my work often finds homes in collections around the world and has been particularly popular in the USA. Artistically, I have always been attracted to the hard-edge California paintings of the 60s and the work of steel sculptor David Smith. It is that type of industrial history within the methods of construction I find particularly appealing.
Past commissions include the 2012 London Olympics; a US swimmer was awarded one of my sculptures, “Bryndis,” to celebrate him becoming the greatest Olympic athlete of all time. Most recently, I had a commission to produce two sculptures for the Arctic cruise ship “Norwegian Bliss.”
My work is available from Saatchi Online, who facilitates all of my US sales.