You are currently viewing all entries with the tag: studio practice

Ascendant: Describing the sculpture

Tags: Public Commission, Studio Practice

10th June
As the planning decision for my commission in Northumberland draws near, I'd like to share a few personal thoughts behind its design and choice of materials. It took weeks for the seed of an idea to germinate in to the final form - Ascendant: The Elizabeth Landmark.
Film by Crystlsd
Click here to see short film.

Screen Shot 2019 06 10 at 09.26.39 copy

Talking ideas

Tags: Studio Practice, Public Event
Screen Shot 2019 01 26 at 15.46

30st January

Yesterday I gave a public talk about my art and ideas which rewarded me with unexpected connections between my studio practice, public commissions and fascinations around landscape. Having worked flat out for the past few months on a huge planning application for my large commission in Northumberland - Ascendant - the preparation and delivery of this talk was perfect timing, to re-examine my practice and concentrate on what is important.

Being an artist is a wonderful journey through life: being able to create my own future and have the privilege of time to spend working out what matters, then adding to that by creating new thoughts and realities. Last nights talk was easily worth all the hours and effort spent drafting it up. Here's to speaking out loud and having the courage to say it now!


Studio Portrait

Tags: Studio Practice

17th July

Simon Hitchens studio portrait

Always good to have an up to date image in the workplace. This one taken by Neil White hits the spot entirely I feel.


RWA Academician

Tags: Press, Studio Practice

Monday 11th January

I'm delighted to say that I have been elected an Academician at the RWA.

I was selected on the strength of the four works above, plus supporting documents and images.

Founded in 1844, it is one of the five Royal Academies of Art in the UK.


Studio Open!

Tags: Studio Practice, Exhibition

21st September
Really enjoying have time and space to view new work in an uncluttered studio - allowing me to see where it will go next, materially, conceptually and commercially.
Please come and visit whilst the studio is hung like this:
Croft Studio, Pound Lane, Buckland St Mary, Chard, Somerset, TA20 3SN
Open 11am - 6pm on the following dates:
19 - 21 September, 23 - 27 September, 30 September - 2 October and by apponitment until 15th October.


Open Studio

Tags: Exhibition, Studio Practice

I am opening my studio for a couple of weeks, to show some new work I have been experimenting with over the past year. I would be delighted if you were able to visit during this time.

The work continues my fascination with the interconnectedness between the human and the non-human, by making objects in wax which are undeniable inanimate, yet have a visceral, bodily quality that is uncanny. Rock and flesh in union? A new hybrid life form? A new understanding of Being? Come and see, to decide for yourself.

Croft Studio, Pound Lane, Buckland St Mary, Chard, Somerset, TA20 3SN
Open 11am - 6pm on the following dates:
19 - 21 September, 23 - 27 September, 30 September - 2 October.


How to Make a Desk: from Penmaenmawr to Piccadilly

Tags: Public Commission, Studio Practice, Indoor Sculpture, Private Commission

20 October 2015:
Today saw the opening of 21 Glasshouse Street, Piccadilly. This, together with 7 Air Street next door, is the latest transformation of the Regent Street public realm, owned by The Crown Estate. As a state of the art new office space, 21 Glasshouse Street required a significant and appropriate reception desk that is both unique and responsive to its location. Working in collaboration with designers Barr Gazetas, I opened up the idea of the responsive nature in the design, to source a boulder from a quarry owned by The Crown Estate. The concept was an exciting one and the journey of its making was, you could say, made for me but the challenge lay in sourcing the 'right' rock.

This was not an easy task as most dimensional stone quarries throughout the British Isles have now closed down, a casualty of cheaper foreign imports and changes in current building styles and materials. The rock itself is still in the ground, a latent reminder of Britain's proud and historic building materials as well as its varied geological make up. After searching the four corners of Britain, I finally sourced a suitable boulder at an aggregate quarry in North Wales. Actually, I almost didn't pay it a visit because I knew that aggregate quarries blast their material from the rock face, fracturing the boulders with internally hidden cracks. However, when I made that first visit to the top of the ancient quarry (Neolithic axe heads have been found in one section of the quarry) it was pretty clear that this was the right boulder, patiently waiting for me to come me along. In fact, the quarry couldn't move it to be crushed, as it weighed an estimated thirty tonnes.

Below is a set of images which take you through the making of the desk. From the wind swept mountain top at Penmaenmawr in North Wales where I drilled a split the boulder in two, to Fyfe Glenrock in Aberdeenshire where it was sawn and drilled to millimetre accuracy, tacking on the required dimensions of a fully functioning reception desk. Down to my Somerset studio where I cut, shaped, chiseled, ground and polished the finer details, and attached the necessary computer support structure. And finally up to London, where it took a team of six men to delicately site it in the required location and height. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I did.

Click here to see further commission images and testimonial.


Image credits: No. 10 & 12-17 Anne Purkiss


Long Distance Creativity

Tags: Public Commission, Studio Practice, Outdoor Sculpture

18th February, 2015:
Last week I was back in the Chinese granite carving capital - Huian, to oversee the 'almost finished' sculptures, for a commission to be sited in Reading this May. Whilst the two highly geometric forms looked pretty amazing, particularly because of their size and mass, the helical twists were not completely spot on. This degree of accuracy, I believe, is needed in order to transform these two carvings into something 'other'. To give them a sense that their form and energy could carry on twisting, and rising (at their final resting place in Reading) up into the air for hundred of meters. Its the difference between an impressive object, and something unexpected that continues to arrest your vision when first sighted.

In order to achieve this I had to show the chief mason what I meant, by looking down the long twisting arris of the edge, continually moving my eye, until I can spot where the inaccuracy lies, over the five and a half meter form: a few millimetres here to mark a slight depression, a few more millimetres there, in order to identify where a subtle lump in the form sits. It may sound like tiny 'tweaking', but it really does result in a form which has an incredibly tight, and believable, movement in all its surfaces and form. The chief mason was fascinated to learn this degree of accuracy, something which the factory managers don't normally aspire to.


A Ghost Made

Tags: Studio Practice, Group Exhibition, Public Space

22nd January, 2015:
Today I installed the rock half of Ghost: 4.5 tonnes of carboniferous limestone boulder. A tense time during the craning in of the boulder, incase vital measurements of the foundation pins didn't marry up with the rock's base plate, but all was well.

Carrying on from the news post A Ghost in the Making (10th December), here are a few more images of the finishing stages of the sculpture: I think the images speak for themselves.

Ghost can be seen at the exhibition:
Second Site
31st January - 12th April 2015
Open daily 11 - 4pm
Hestercombe Gallery, Hestercombe House, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, TA2 8LG
T: 01823 413923


Because that's just what I do....

Tags: Studio Practice

4:30 pm. 16th December 2014

Work continues on the desk.

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