Over the past twenty years I have focused my art career on creating life size wire sculptures for the garden market. I can remember visiting the Chelsea Flower Show when I was at college and finding the only sculpture there was in bronze resin. I took my experiences from making wire armatures one step further when I returned to Yorkshire and created my pieces from recycled wire pheasant pens. My method of scrunching the wire enabled me to draw out my life-size sculptures for less than the process of bronze resin. Unknowingly I had created a niche garden market for my work without galleries. As the garden market for sculpture grew I used advertising and elite garden shows to exhibit my work worldwide. The success of these shows afforded me my travels to Africa on riding safaris to Kenya and South Africa.
My move to Ireland escaped me from tax and offered me the opportunity to have my own farm so I could work alongside the animals that had inspired me. Naturally in Ireland I had horses, geese and chickens but I also got into breeding pedigree Aberdeen Angus Cattle.I liked nothing more than my daily rounds of observing my beasts at large on my own safaris!
The wire is about lines which the wire echoes this perfectly. I produced drawings from pulling out a bull or a horse and tying them up in the studio. Drawing from life or sculpting next to the animal gave me the anatomical knowledge needed to recreate the character and proportion of my subject. As a child growing up with our family pack of hounds, I had the unique opportunity to observe the animal carcasses hanging in the kennels. Often dissected, these large abstract shapes of muscle and tissue resembled sculptures themselves. I have memories of seeing how a horse’s leg flexes and how the weight and pressure of the tendon works. I am sure these little insights at an early age laid foundation blocks in my mind.
In 2005 I started working back in clay and wax, with a view to casting in bronze and, to a lesser extent, silver however it never felt the same as working in the wire.
As a result of the success of my last solo show in 2007, I gained the confidence to work larger and more freely in other types of wire. I love the way I can weave a two metre piece of bronze wire through a sculpture and tie it off like in knitting.
In 2012 I approached a company in Birmingham to draw down bespoke bronze wire giving me the perfect softness and size to work it, enabling me to work on a large scale and portrait pieces to best effect.
Today in 2015 I am working mainly in bronze wire and still riding out most days. The relationship between my horse and I is very special. It not only gives you the unique experience to view roe deer close up from the saddle but also gives you the insight to expressing its movement and spirit.