Navigator has been commissioned by Ipswich River Action
Group with the help of Commissions East and financially
supported by the Arts Council England Lottery Programme.
My inspiration for the sculpture
The Navigator was inspired by Ipswich's maritime history
and industrial past. Influences for the artwork were found
among a variety of sources. 19th century stern castings
for ships, navigational instruments to pattern templates
found in the textiles industry.
My interest in the figure was generated
by garment templates. Elegant forms in their own right and
also a cross-over into my ongoing interest in the found
object tradition. These shapes, resonant of human anatomy,
also had surreal connotations that allowed me to explore
their varied potential through drawing and assemblage.
The idea of play was also important.
The sculptures and drawings initially invite the viewer
to participate in the innocent aspects of the completed
work, only to realise that there are more sinister connotations
to the piece after longer contemplation of the artwork.
Conflict and war are ongoing themes
throughout my career and much of my output gravitates toward
the bleaker aspects of human experience. These works are
not social commentaries and focus mainly on ideas to do
with isolation. Often the sculptures and drawing are seen
in a solitary existence, within a bleak horizon or empty
interior. This, for me, heightens the idea of being trapped.
The shapes and forms that constitute the artwork are like
bugs trapped in amber, caught in time (sometimes nomadic),
in an ongoing conflict, readable only by the shapes and
forms gleaned from various parts of history.