Click on each image for more photographs and the sculptor’s notes.
Early years: the influence of African tribal art
‘Whilst I had for years liked wood for its sheer aesthetic appeal, and did some carving in a minor way, it was discovering the sheer uncompromising power of African tribal carving that made me start to take wood sculpture more seriously. The tribal artists were not interested on representational fidelity: they wanted to put their message across with maximum force and impact. It was their visual language that I still use in my sculptures today, because if its effectiveness in stamping the image in the brain. You’ll see that in The Screamers section below. So although I have moved away from work which stayed in a realm more or less directly relating to African tribal themes and art, here are some of the pieces I did at the time. To a greater or lesser extent, I have used that visual vocabulary to create images which belong probably more to a mythical than an actual tribal Africa. They nonetheless represent an obeisance to that continent of powerful image creators.’
Those familiar the Edvard Munch’s work with recognise one piece below: my bow to a man who had clearly been there, and knew what to paint.
This group speaks for itself, and for all of us at some stage in our lives. That primal scream we have all felt: the rage, the near or actual despair, and sometimes, too, the outraged determination to fight back against people or processes that can seem cruelly indifferent or actively malign. There is nothing quiescent here.
Been there? And if you have not, then congratulations – but one day …