2.14 - Painting 2011
2.03 - Deliverance

Charmed Earth - Individual Works: Part 1


Guardian (right) represents the inception of self-awareness within evolution. Two imaginary apes are entranced by the dazzling intensity of their own appearance. The father encourages his bashful son to embrace his own brilliance and to awaken with grace from his startled state. With this work, I attempted to have an object express a simple sense of wonder at its own state of being.

Separate moulds were made for each of the ape's paws and face, as well as the base and body. The moulds were coloured with polyurethane paint on the inside, which adheres to the coloured polyurethanes that were poured within. After these stages, there was sanding back of the surface to reveal underlying layers of colour.

Blessed Be, Sitting Pretty and Prodigy are pictured below, left to right. Other monkeys are shown in various states of revelation as they evolve beyond their origins at the base of the stump. In many cases, coloured polyurethanes were poured onto the cast surface of the objects, creating gloss finishes. This is an unpredictable application, as the medium sets very quickly.


Noble Pile

The following three figures represent a father figure, brave and ridiculous, upholding his delightful burden.

In Noble Pile (right), the supportive figure at the bottom of the pile holds up a weight, as well as a clown and a monkey. The strongman is very serious in his endeavour to lift such a light-hearted load, figures that might otherwise make fun of him. This is noble behaviour displayed by all parties. The precarious pile of ludicrous figures seemed like a fitting tribute to the construction of 'art' from elemental lumps of muddy, prime material (clay).

Below this figure is Patron and Alive and Kicking. All these works combine opaque and transparent polyurethanes.





A snowman and child: The little girl is charmed by the looming presence of an unearthly spirit of her own making. The snowman has a refractive ice-blue pigmentation that gives him his ethereal presence.

Poor Man’s Fortune

The following three figures show downtrodden folk beholden to immense wealth. Their trolleys are filled with gold. I tried to represent a figure as if it had recently arisen from raw, unformed matter, assembled from the stuff of the earth.

The figure in Poor Man's Fortune (right) was made from two moulds. It was coloured by painting different sections of the inner moulds and pouring different colours into those sections.

The Golden Dustman (below left) is cast from bronze. His coat is like the body of a bird. Tramp (below right) is made from two moulds, with a variety of colour applications, both inside the mould and after it was cast.




The following three objects — Payload, 'Tis Not the Cowl That Makes the Monk and What's Left — describe the attainment, or unloading, of precious material. The works describe hollow spaces that have become containers for material possessions, which seemed like a sculptural idea to me.





Specimen (right) was cast in three parts, combining the opaque astronaut's head within the transparent helmet. The body was cast separately.

In these sculptures I allowed various qualities of the material to reflect ideas related to other aspects of my work. In Specimen, the body of the astronaut relates to the ground from which he has evolved.

Through colour and transparency, I related the 'contingency sample' in his hand to the helmet.

Hence, the matter he collects resonates with the other-worldly quality of his head.



Displayed below are Earthman (a variation on Specimen) and Elemental Being.

I created Elemental Being by mixing quantities of graphite with polyurethane and polishing the surface to attain mirror finishes.



In Provisions (below left), the water jug seems to hold the figure upright; it detracts from the burden of her other baggage. The sculpture was cast in a single mould, incorporating both opaque and transparent polyurethanes.

Pomegranate was an exercise in the use of coloured resins. The figure is simply poised, mid pluck; the pomegranate is like a gem she has taken from the sky.



Still Falls the Rain

Raindrops, somehow indicating the weight of the sky, were the inspiration for this object (below left). I got the idea from looking at leaden sinkers on a fishing line. The colour and surface were produced by the mixture of iron powder, buffed to a high polish.

Bather (below right) was cast in a single piece, the 'water' poured in later. She emerges from the bath like the first being in existence. 




Idolatry (right) shows the figure of the idol worshipper at his solitary dedication.

Many of the figures within Charmed Earth have some reference to their own manufacture. Figures interact with matter in ways that seem to signify their own origins.

This has been a long-term consideration within much of my work, yet illustrated most simply in some Charmed Earth sculptures. This aspect of these works was subconscious at the time of making.


Take Wing (below left) was poured from a variety of subtle transparent mixtures of refractive pigments and polyurethanes. The bird, and the shrouded cage from which it is departs, are images of the woman who liberates it. Shy Owl (below right) is a similar subject, except the bird is less inclined to be enticed into the outside world.


To continue viewing the next group of Charmed Earth sculptures, click Individual Works Part 2.