More on the sculptures

Laughing Buddha

One of the largest, in terms of mass, commissions I have undertaken, and has become a local site where it is now housed in a north Kent seaside town. It stands four feet high and nearly as wide. The oak log from which it was carved had to be craned into position – and out again when completed. The owner has no plans to move it any time soon.

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"Pre-conditions for peace" £10,000

Justin-with-Pre-condition-for-peace-624x832 (1)

Carved in chestnut. Dimensions: 126 cm. high, 35 cm. at its thickest point, 76 cm. at its widest point.
This is a message piece.(carved from a majestic chestnut tree that toppled over the road from the garden across the road. I have kept the bark on the reverse side as a reminder of whence came the wood. )
The sculpture is detailed, but the message is simple, and was initiated by:

  1. i> the thought that religion has for centuries been the best excuse horrible people have invented to justify their doing vile things to other people, preferably on a large scale; and
  2. ii> the lively continuation through into the 21st. century of this tradition of killing people who think slightly differently: those who, for example, worship exactly the same god, but in a minimally different way.

What this piece is saying that the world will be a better and more civilized place only when all religions have merged into myth and hence into harmlessness. This does happen, so there is hope yet. No cultures, for example, worship any more the sun the moon, or the stars; represented by the three images across the top. None venerate the sphinx any more, and the astrological figures – represented here by Aries - are believed in only by the more perversely credulous. And the fusion of the Green Man and Christianity happened unostentatiously centuries ago, when images of the Green Man were carved into the roof bosses and pillar capitals of churches across the land.
Why the celtic cross? Because I really like the interweaving of the strapwork they used, is all. The muslim crescent and the jewish star of david, separated by their similarities, are merging with the Christian cross, but a bit more slowly.
So this sculpture stands as both a prophecy and a plea that eventually sanity shall prevail and that  the peace of rationality in a secular world may remove such a splendid excuse for inflicting barbaric horror upon others.

'Pre-conditions for Peace'  Chestnut,  £10,000

Totem sculpture 1

Left to myself, the pieces I create combine eclectic representative styles with a leitmotiv of mythological images.The Green Man, for example, is an image and idea going back thousands of years, so the holly and oak forms used in the face is a reference the druids would have recognised. But as with many of my pieces, I have used stylistic forms which borrow directly from the tradition of representation used by the carvers of African masks. What a powerful visual language they used! Simple, but stark, direct, and immediately effective. So this has become deeply incorporated in many of my pieces.

Some of the other mythological references in this totem:

The owls at the top: owls are one of the few birds that have been found in prehistoric cave paintings. Owls have been both revered & feared throughout many civilisations from ancient to more recent times. In ancient Greece, owls were often seen as a symbol of good fortune. The idea of the 'wise old owl' may have come into being from the association of the owl with the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athene.

The ring of acorns: the acorn is a symbol of strength and power. Because the acorn only appears on a fully mature oak, it is often considered a symbol of the patience needed to attain goals over long periods of time. It represents perseverance and hard work. The veneration of the oak tree extends by association to the acorn; not just a symbol of growth and regeneration of life: in Nordic belief, acorns on the windowsill were believed to protect a house from being hit by lightning. In parts of Britain, young ladies followed a custom of wearing an acorn on a string around their neck. It was believed that this was a talisman against premature ageing.

The sun and the moon: the universality of beliefs associated with these images needs no explanation.

The three hares: More about this striking image elsewhere in this website.

Tree sculpture 1

Tree sculpture 1 commisioned piece
Dead trees deseve a second life, and standing in the space they have blessed for so many years. : this one called for a Green Man of course, and I like the way the owners have allowed the ivy, with centuries of its own place in mythology, to grace the image.

Have you a dead tree in your garden? Don’t have it cut down – what a waste of an opportunity! Change it, instead, to the most remarked outside sculture in your neighbourhood. Expensive, of course, but just imagine what it could do for your garden. (And check the cost of having it cut down as the only alternative: you’ll be startled.) Please note that softwood trees, such as pines, unless maybe Douglas firs, do not carve so well, so you would need to have in mind larger images with less detail.

Tree sculpture 2 From an Ash Signed piece £3,000. 

This tree sculpture started  over a decade ago, when an ash tree, promising mighty girth and massive roots to threaten drastic root heave to my kitchen wall some six feet way, had, to my sorrow, to be terminated. So to make at least partial amends, I carved the upper section into a Green Man. The rest of the length I could not reach, as it was protected zealously by an aggressive holly hedge growing round it. When eventually it had to come down, I carved the lower length into eleven different African masks, all from authentic masks, on the front and two side elevations, to give the Green Man some company. My signature rebus is to one side at the bottom. This is an eye-catching piece for your home.

Tree sculpture 2

Sadly, this tree had to be killed: it was growing too close to an old house, and risked root heave, but the owner made recompense by making it a Green Man guardian for his garden. Note the owl, the use of holly, oak, and ivy, the acorn necklace, and the bird nesting in his beard.

Green Man free-standing 1 £350.00

The guardian of green places.

The pagan demi-god celebrated on bosses, pillars, and carvings in English cathedrals and churches. In Exeter cathedral there are more images of the Green Man than of the Christian deity to which the cathedral is dedicated.

He is a figure as old as the history of man records. He appears on Roman columns in Turkey, in Jain temples in Rajasthan. His heritage in part stems from the Dionysian revels in ancient Greece.
Evidence of the Green Man’s journey to his dwelling places in Britain has been traced through Hungary, Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and Holland. In Britain alone there are over a thousand sites where carvings of the Green Man are to be found. And most of those are old. Most of those are places of worship.

The Green Man changed in his journey through the century and from the ancient places. He has subsumed in his travels through the woods and glades of the world, the Dionysian god of the grape to blend with Pan, he became a wilder deity altogether. He is benevolent, and associated with all good things, but a guardian too. He is benevolent and kindly, but only to those who do not offend against the green world.

As a guardian, he is weaponed with power, fearsome to the transgressor. Hence the stern expression, hence the vipers in the hair. And that is why his image should grace your garden. But they can equally well stand vigil in your house. I have not seen any anywhere with horns, but I thought they would help him in his job.

But perhaps you would like a Green Man in a kindlier mood? That can be created for you: commissions are accepted. Tell me what you want , and we can take it from there.

Green Man free standing 1 £350

Green Man free standing 2 £300

Green Man free standing 3 £450

Black poplar, 38 cm. tall. 28 cm diameter . Price: £450

Green Man free-standing 2 £300.00

The guardian of green places.

The pagan demi-god celebrated on bosses, pillars, and carvings in English cathedrals and churches. In Exeter cathedral there are more images of the Green Man than of the Christian deity to which the cathedral is dedicated.

He is a figure as old as the history of man records. He appears on Roman columns in Turkey, in Jain temples in Rajasthan. His heritage in part stems from the Dionysian revels in ancient Greece.
Evidence of the Green Man’s journey to his dwelling places in Britain has been traced through Hungary, Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and Holland. In Britain alone there are over a thousand sites where carvings of the Green Man are to be found. And most of those are old. Most of those are places of worship.

The Green Man changed in his journey through the century and from the ancient places. He has subsumed in his travels through the woods and glades of the world, the Dionysian god of the grape to blend with Pan, he became a wilder deity altogether. He is benevolent, and associated with all good things, but a guardian too. He is benevolent and kindly, but only to those who do not offend against the green world.

As a guardian, he is weaponed with power, fearsome to the transgressor. Hence the stern expression, hence the vipers in the hair. And that is why his image should grace your garden. But they can equally well stand vigil in your house. I have not seen any anywhere with horns, but I thought they would help him in his job.

But perhaps you would like a Green Man in a kindlier mood? That can be created for you: commissions are accepted. Tell me what you want , and we can take it from there.

Green Man free standing 1 £350

Green Man free standing 2 £300

Green Man free standing 3 £450

Black poplar, 38 cm. tall. 28 cm diameter . Price: £450

Green Man free-standing 3

The guardian of green places.green-man-standing-3a

The pagan demi-god celebrated on bosses, pillars, and carvings in English cathedrals and churches. In Exeter cathedral there are more images of the Green Man than of the Christian deity to which the cathedral is dedicated.

He is a figure as old as the history of man records. He appears on Roman columns in Turkey, in Jain temples in Rajasthan. His heritage in part stems from the Dionysian revels in ancient Greece.
Evidence of the Green Man’s journey to his dwelling places in Britain has been traced through Hungary, Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and Holland. In Britain alone there are over a thousand sites where carvings of the Green Man are to be found. And most of those are old. Most of those are places of worship.

The Green Man changed in his journey through the century and from the ancient places. He has subsumed in his travels through the woods and glades of the world, the Dionysian god of the grape to blend with Pan, he became a wilder deity altogether. He is benevolent, and associated with all good things, but a guardian too. He is benevolent and kindly, but only to those who do not offend against the green world.

As a guardian, he is weaponed with power, fearsome to the transgressor. Hence the stern expression, hence the vipers in the hair. And that is why his image should grace your garden. But they can equally well stand vigil in your house. I have not seen any anywhere with horns, but I thought they would help him in his job.

But perhaps you would like a Green Man in a kindlier mood? That can be created for you: commissions are accepted. Tell me what you want , and we can take it from there.

green-man-standing

Green Man free standing 1 £350

Green Man free standing 2 £300

Green Man free standing 3 £450

Black poplar, 38 cm. tall. 28 cm diameter . Price: £450

The Three Hares £350.00

the-three-haresThe symbol of the three hares running in a circle and joined by their ears which form a triangle at the centre of the design is an ancient one. The symbol is a puzzling one, for each creature appears to have two ears, yet between them have but three.

The motif is an archetype both extraordinary and ancient: it is found across wildly different religions and cultures, across thousands of years, and many thousands of miles. It has been found in cave paintings in China, on Persian metalware, and in European and English churches. But as to what it means … the three hares motif was clearly revered on all the sites where it has been found – many have been places of worship and myth-bound significance, but in all those cultures, meaning must have varied. The hare has bounded throughout world mythology, and has from the dawn of its appearance had divine associations. Its wild independence, its elusiveness, its lone dances in the moonlight, have all lent to its reputation as a magical creature. The hare has also have been linked with the female half of the world, with the feminine cycle, and with the moon endowed in world cultures with a female persona.

It is perhaps as a symbol of femininity and of fertility that the Three Hares should be understood. It may well be significant that this thoroughly pre-Christian symbol is often seen paired in European and British churches paired with that other ancient symbol of male fertility, the Green Man. As a tribute to the ancient history of the Three Hares, I have carved them running through a background of leaves of the holly, the ivy, and the oak – all richly endowed with symbolic history in their own right.

Running hare Cherry wood, rebus signature. £450

Running hare Chestnut, rebus signature, £500

'Ancestor figure' Painted redwood, 5ft.6 inches £2000

‘Ancestor figure’  Painted redwood, 5ft.6 inches  £2000#14 #16 Optimized-#15

'Ancestress' Spalted beech £2000

'Earth figure’ Spalted beech. £850The female has been reverenced for thousands of years, and in cultures across the world, been deified and worshipped. Her power as a life-giver has elevated her importance for centuries before the notion of paternity was conceived. That status is represented in this figure. The enigmatic face represents another aspect of woman: there is something about her that men have never been able to understand: even at her most obvious, there is something about her which forever eludes us. She is just there to be venerated. But does she care? Take a look at that face with its distant gaze, and see what you think.

‘Fetish figure’ Painted redwood £1000

‘Fetish figure’Painted redwood£1000

‘Forward from the mask’ 1 ft. 4 ins.£750

‘Forward from the mask’ 1 ft. 4 ins.  £750

‘Another step from the mask’ 1 ft. 2 ins. £700

http://www.sculptures-uk.com/more-on-the-sculptures#another-mask

Green Man, Mask Form Redwood £800

Green Man, Mask Form Redwood £800

Screamer 1 4ft. 9 ins. £3,000

Screamer 1 4ft. 9 ins. £3,000

Screamer II 3 ft. 4ins. £2,750.00

Screamer II 3 ft. 4ins. £2,750.00

Screamer III 34 ins, £2,200.00

Screamer III 34 ins, £2,200.00

‘The Scream’ given form Oak, 2ft. £2,000

‘The Scream’ given form Oak, 2ft. £2,000Not for nothing has Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ been the world’s most stolen picture, and it has little to do with the somewhat relaxed security at its site.

The image haunts the imagination, if only because most of us at some time in our lives have been in just that place. It obviously never let go of Munch: he did four versions; this is my first. Has it let go of me? Put it like this: I have created five others, wild variations on the theme, which are currently in America. So I’d have to say I am still within shouting distance of that Screaming.

The Icon Chair. Ash. £25,000

All you do is find a hollow log, take it home, and out of that, carve a chair. The Icon Chair took me two years.

The Icon Chair

Dimensions (external): height: 135cm.; width: 97 cm.; depth: 80cm.

As you can see from the photographs below, those dimensions are such that it will not fit through a standard internal doorway.

This is larger and more complex of the two chairs, and is so called because I have incorporated in the carvings iconic images, some immediately familiar, others more arcane. The first theme is that of the sun, the moon, and astrological representations of some of the constellations.

The Icon Chair. Ash. £25,000

The sun motif is on one wing of the chair, the moon and the constellations on the other.

The images under the sun are of a sunflower surmounted on the sun, below that is a reference to Greek legend: that Apollo in his chariot drew the sun across the sky.

On the other wing are images you will recognise: the moon, the Plough, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, Taurus, Aries, Leo, Pisces, and Capricorn

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At the centre of the chair, held in the horns of the heraldic stag, is the image of the Three Hares. The oldest representation is in a Chinese cave etching, about 4,000 years old: that image travelled down the Silk Road, and can now be seen carved on the bosses of English churches.

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On the outside of one wing is another image imbedded in European mythology: the Green Man:

You will see he is wearing a sunflower round the neck, linking with the sun images on the other side of that wing.

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Underneath the seat are two stags, two does, and a Celtic cross. The cross is there mainly because I love the intricacy of the interwoven strapwork of with the Celtic artists were so fond.

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Underneath the seat are two stags, two does, and a Celtic cross. The cross is there mainly because I love the intricacy of the interwoven strapwork of with which the Celtic artists were so fond.

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The Stag Chair , £7,000

Decoration: stag’s head, two thistles. This is simpler, albeit with a richer and more flamboyant grain. It is also smaller: suitable for child or petite adult.

stag-chair

The Footstool

Carved out of a piece of lime, designed as a companion piece for the Icon Chair. The design picks up the theme of the Three Hares flanked by running foxes, ant the top centre of the chair. But I have left the foxes and the hares running round the footstool without eyes, because it seems to me that reflects how we live: those who have chosen to become predators chase the rest of us – but even they seem not to know how to run their lives. The hares are running as fast as they can to escape the foxes, but don’t see that in just running, they may be running into more danger, or that there may be another direction to run. And the foxes might think they know what they are doing, but are they running after the wrong goals? After all, all they have to do is turn round. But they are too busy to think about that.
footstool