<<<< proposals



Site : Jerwood Sculpture Park, Witley Court,  Worcestershire.

Budget of £25,000

I was not short-listed for this Prize but you can see the original maquette inspiration on my maquette page.


Briefly my proposal for the sculpture is to carve a realistic, representational stone figure, albeit larger than life-size, to be sited directly on the ground at the Jerwood Sculpture Park at Witley Court.  In order to complete a commissioned maquette or the final piece, I would plan to use a suitable life model; photographing, measuring and modelling as accurately as possible for the final, specific form for the sculpture.

My experiences of observing sculpture in a sculpture park context have made me aware of what does and does not work. Great size does not always work and maybe is defeating itself in trying to compete with the landscape (within a field of vision that can enclose hundreds of yards). My proposal takes as a starting point human scale, the scale of the observer, but still retaining a massiveness that ensures it can impose a presence in the environment. Also the fact that I have drawn half the figure submerged will suggest a greater size without the time and cost overheads a full figure carving would entail. My choice of a natural material, stone, and decision not to use a plinth is also based on my uncertainty at the incongruity of bronzes on plinths in the landscape.

I have at this stage not visited the Jerwood Sculpture Park at Witley Court, but I have researched a good deal of information to do with the history of the buildings and grounds and the existing ornamental neo-classical sculptures. It seems to have suffered a great deal from successive stylistic alterations, which I feel would not be enhanced with another completely different style of sculpture. I therefore feel my ‘no-style’ approach to carving a figure, will have some empathy with the past and current environs. My work does however have an underlying Italian influence, derived from the humanism of Renaissance sculpture, which will, I feel, have some connection with the Italianate influences on the architecture and landscape design of  Witley Court.

Wherever possible for commissions I like to use the indigenous stone, so I propose to either use Myddle Red or Grinshill sandstone from the New Red Sandstone beds of Shrewsbury, which also extend into Worcestershire, under the proposed Sculpture Park site. I believe it is the red Keuper sandstone which is directly under Witley Court, but I have given myself two options as I feel light coloured stone would look better against a tree/bush foliage background, whereas the darker red would look better if the site was more exposed against the sky/horizon. Obviously I do not know the exact location site at this stage.

With particular regard to my specific design, I proposed a simple pose as I am interested in using simple poses to express emotions. I feel the pose I have suggested will easily engender a variety of emotional responses in the viewer, to me the finished work will eschew any flashy extravagance, in terms of pose, subject and execution, putting the focus on humanitarian issues such as endeavour, strength, vulnerability and humility.

I am attracted to the idea of removing any evidence of the artist-ego, returning maybe to pre-Renaissance anonymity for the artist where the object fact of the sculpture can exist and thrive without explanation (as much art of the past has to), my chosen method for achieving this is to negate any supplementary theoretical contexts for the work. It is important to me that the work is accessible to everyone and not too bound up in contemporary art theory, which I feel can date artwork too quickly, making it relevant only in a historical context.