I live in the UK. I started collecting oak roots as a child when we moved close to the woods. I would wake up before school and grab a wheel barrow to haul my finds back home before school. Once I had a few I then spent time cleaning them back to their skeletal forms. My Dad had a shop in Brighton a nd allowed me to sell the roots on a stall outside.
Much later in life i came across the pile of discarded roots from childhood and decided to carve them. The first one I carved was bliss it felt so utterly right. I predominantly carve oakroots which i like to collect from local woods. I love the sense of finding a new piece of wood and anticipating the potential of the form it holds inside. Carving is a way of honoring this tree especially the roots I carve. Often I can see its suggested form as I pull it from the ground.
Over the last few years I have also been carving Hawthorn -this allows for much greater detail. Hawthorn is a mystical tree with much folklore attached such as stories like how Merlin the magician was eternally trapped in a hawthorn tree. For me it is a great honour to carve this gnarly wood. I love the whiteness of its colour and the way it splits and cracks and shifts and moves when burnishing a carved peice.
Much of my work is inspired by the wood itself, the skeletal structure of Oakroot often whispers in shadows that dance and describe ancient faces. Hawthorn is very hard and tight grained allowing me to carve forms that are born from European Folklore myths and legends like the Norse Eddas, The Mabinogian and the Icelandic Sagas. This folklore is enfused into the earth where the trees have grown for millenia.
I have exhibited or am currently exhibiting @; Pashley Manor and Gardens, The Sculpture Park, The Body Shop Tours, IO gallery – Brighton, Heart Gallery – Hook, Coco de Mer – London, The Millenium Seed Bank – Wakehurst Place, Michelham Priory, High Beeches, Wilderness Wood – Five Ashes, Lucinda Brown Gallery, etc……
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