I studied fine art sculpture at Leeds Met University. Since graduating in 1994 I have been lucky enough to work full time as a sculptor creating a diverse body of work. After a chance encounter with the work of the great American kinetic artist George Rickey I have been fascinated by kinetic sculpture and all its wonderful possibilities. I work from my home studio in Leeds assisted in all sorts of ways by my wife Angela, three growing children, a faithful cocker spaniel, a greedy cat.
I enjoy making all forms of sculpture but when I’m working on a new piece my first thought is usually ‘how it will react in the wind’. There are many challenges to creating a successful kinetic sculpture and it is a very slow process to develop each piece. The necessity to create a fluid movement can add constraints to flights of fancy; how big will the lead counterweight have to be, is there enough sail area to catch very light winds, how will it react in storm force winds? Working within these constraints the form of my work is shepherded and cajoled into being. The balancing of asymmetrical forms is also challenging and the years trial and error have slowly turned into knowledge. This doesn’t necessarily make pieces easier to create but is has thankfully limited the many ‘what was I thinking’ moments.
For over 15 years I have been designing creating unique kinetic pieces, I have always tried consciously to add to the genre and bring something new to the kinetic art movement which seems to be regaining its momentum in an exciting way.
I feel the great strength of kinetic sculpture is that it promotes a unique exchange with the viewer, as it performs it can open up space for peaceful contemplation or be a dramatic display of nature’s power, it can be both absorbing and then thrilling on the same day. My work is simple in form but complex in movement, I am inspired by the natural world and wonderful fine tuned forms that surround us. I hope my work fascinates and it’s intention is to be enjoyed but I hope it also subtly points to our place in the natural order and our position as relative newcomers.