<<<< marbles



   Self-portrait bust           2001-2005

   Carrara marble                 Life-size


The working title for this piece was ' Do you know where you are going wrong? ' . 

I wanted to undertake an art work that people could see straight away if I had succeeded or failed, achieved anything or not. If the bust was not a good likeness people could see it straight away without any knowledge of art history or contemporary art theory, this idea appealed to me.

The perverse side of my nature also wanted to do a ' marble bust ' as in the eyes of my peers it would seem to be the most unfashionable and irrelevant of pursuits. However, I do have a great admiration for the figurative stone sculptors of the past who strove for virtuosity of technique and expressing beauty and humanity in just the pose of a figure, this is enough in my eyes to justify being an artist, innovation should perhaps be put lower down on the list of qualities necessary for creating art. Many artists like to challenge other people's preconceptions, I believe the real challenge is to face your own.

It took four years to complete, working part-time, around 1200-1500 hours. In retrospect I would approach it differently to cut down this time, by first of all completing a clay version in as accurate form as possible, then transferring this clay version to stone. Most of my time seems to have been spent looking and re-looking (not always a bad thing), if I had a life-size maquette to work from, it would be easier to transfer to stone, without continually looking at myself, juggling mirrors at all angles!

In answer to my own question, there are aspects of the sculpture that are slightly incorrect. The jaw-line and neck are too narrow, the left brow should jut out a bit more and both eyes are individually slightly too narrow. I am less worried about the accuracy of the hair as it was only meant to be a stylised treatment as hair does not lend itself to stone-carving representation. I have given an indication of the direction of growth and indications of texture and length. It has been a great learning experience, I have learnt a lot about stone-carving, what can and cannot be done and more importantly what does or doesn't need to be done.

I also feel I now have more of an appreciation of subtle and complex forms and how to achieve them and I now know how important light is in the creation of sculpture. This sculpture was carved entirely in natural light, those who know of such things will realise the sculpture should ideally be displayed facing the light as the eyes are half-closed (I am not expressing a bored or intoxicated state!).