The year got off to a snowy start! I quite enjoy a good sprinkling of the white stuff. It turns the garden into a playground for a while! I also enjoy how it casts my sculptures in a new light, transforming the way they look outdoors. We had some fun trying to make snow sculptures too.
This latest lockdown has seen people busy redecorating and sprucing up their homes and finding new ways to refresh their living spaces using art. It’s a great way to add a focal point to a room, to change things up a bit and inject some colour and character. It has been really heartening to hear from collectors wanting to include sculpture in their interior and outdoor spaces. I’m always happy to talk through ideas for a commission or to give advice about placing my sculptures.
In the middle of January, the contents of the 17th century country house, Aynhoe Park, were offered by Dreweatts in a three-day auction. Included in the sale was one of my sculptures, Cheetah Head, with a guide price of £2-3,000. It was great to hear that the final sale price reached £13,000!
Covid 19 continues to impact the way I work, as it does for everyone. I’ve had to embrace technology more than ever before. We’ve made several videos showcasing new sculptures. There’s a good collection now on my YouTube channel, along with a few more general clips explaining how I sculpt. I’ve just done one on the process of making the armatures that support my plasticine or clay models. The video shows you how I form them out of aluminium and the tools I use.
You can also see videos of some of the sculptures I have been working on during lockdown. After being tied up with producing the new catalogue for a large part of last year, it has been great to get back into the studio again. There are three life size cheetah heads, made as a comparison with different sculpting materials – one in plasticine, one in cranked clay and one in natural clay. Also a robin, a wren and a nuthatch – three little birds often found in our gardens. I’ve also made a life size roe deer head, a little owl and three bulls. I’ve been busy! The sculptures are in the foundry at the moment being cast but you can get a sneak preview of the clay models in the videos. As soon as they are available, we’ll put them up on the website, so keep checking back!
I’m really pleased with Turtles 2020, which are fresh out of the foundry and now on the website. Originally commissioned by a client in Barbados, the group of three life size turtles cast in bronze were a joy to make. I wanted to convey their fluid energy and sense of lightness and movement. Although they look cumbersome on land, they are so at home in the ocean. Turtle numbers are in decline, so it’s important we celebrate these beautiful creatures while we can.
Sadly, the Chelsea Flower Show has been postponed this year. It is a date in the calendar that I really look forward to, but fingers crossed it will be going ahead in September, which gives us all something to look forward to. I’ll be there on my stand and can’t wait to catch up with friends and collectors.