One of the upshots of this year’s Somerset Art Weeks for me was making new contacts – not only with clients and potential ones, but with like-minded artists who visited my exhibition. I didn’t have a chance to get out and view other artists’ studios during SAW as I was open daily myself, but this week I was invited to visit the studios of two very different, talented sculptors who are both fairly local to me.
Peter Osborne has made his mark with some amazing mixed media public, private and commercial pieces, often large in scale, using a tactile juxtaposition of metals, concrete, glass and wood. He has developed a range of unusual surface texturing, finishing and material processing methods, gained from his experience in the crafts tradition and commercial world of contemporary industry. Peter’s understanding of materials and ability to form, join and meld them together is very impressive. A blacksmith, sculptor and craftsman, his work and approach reflects his love of our world, its natural forms and rhythms, sometimes extracting ideas from ancient codes and ages. Peter’s wonderful ‘Mallet’ piece, recently installed on Tesco land in Shepton Mallet (and funded by Tesco) is a radical social comment, with some strong connotations about the town’s history, corporate land ownership, and its connections to the present commercial paradigm. It asks us to respectfully consider the effects this is now having both on humanity’s development and other life forms this wonderful planet also nurtures. His passion about life and art is infectious. I was smitten by his studio and feel inspired to get on with evolving my own studio and practice.
Anthony Wilson’s mad (his words), lyrical sculptures – to me, reminiscent of Miro’s work – take over his massive garden and house. Peering out from corners, wild and more topiaried hedges and trees, hub caps and car bonnets with bulging eyes greet you. Owls, space men and writhing, battling kings all watch as we mere mortals wander through their land. Gnarled wood, chimney liners, bin lids, coloured glass and silicone are teamed up to play a major part in the show that grows in Anthony’s grounds. I love the way these materials and substances – which seem an incongruous combination – work so powerfully together. The surreal experience was abruptly ended, when Anthony’s dog escaped onto a busy A road – luckily rescued by a kind driver! I hope Anthony’s plan to locate a suitable wood to house his creative menagerie will come to fruition soon. http://www.sculpturemad.com/
Time to get down to the heady business of creating again… A trip to London Museums and Gloucester Cathedral’s Crucible Exhibition next week will also, I hope, help to fuel new ideas.