Throwdown at the Hoedown.

 

 

Christopher-Michel_flickr_Web

Fantastic image from Christopher-Michel_flickr_Web. Interesting article here: //goodnature.nathab.com/larsen-ice-shelf-breakoff-our-future-in-ice/

“If there was ever an example of humankind being unable to bear too much reality, it is the current debate on climate change.” John Gray

Antarctic Leviathan, 45cm L x 23cm H x 12cm D.

I have been following the fascinating progression of Climate Change for 35 years. At last it is a main-stream subject. It’s intriguing how a small number of people are still trying to avoid seeing it, the deniers but mostly the avoiders. It is terrifying, lethal. Our doing and responsibility. The prospect of shifting the habits and habitats of our gigantic population is exhausting.

So a narrative has slowly emerged from the progression of sculptures (rather than the other way around), beginning during The Landscape Series. I wont interfere with that. I will record what I see, let the clay take the lead, research areas I need more information on, add music and follow the road. This is how I have always worked. But this time there is far more clarity.

Antarctic Harbinger I, 20cm H x 33cm L x 19cm D.

Throwdown at the Hoedown

A trichotomy of the Earth, the Guardians of the Aquasphere, the Lithosphere and the Atmosphere arose and they, and their Sentinels and Harbingers took on characteristics that the many life-forms of the Biosphere could relate to so that all would understand what was happening; They were going to let loose their forces. This was not to threaten or  punish. They simply knew it was time.

Rebecca Buck osprey Studios

Arctic Guardian and Harbinger, 70cm H x 37cm W x 24cm D.

The three spheres cover all that is water, stone or air. At first that seemed simple. But the three over-lap all over the place. And combining with sunlight, they build the whole of the Biosphere that they nurture and threaten.

Arctic Harbinger, 33cm L x 13cm H x 12cm D.

Steven Foote’s stunning photographs from The Landscape Series seem to contain the whole mysterious narrative, characters and all, I refer to them daily and they will continue to be the bed-rock of the Series.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios

Bracelet Bay, Swansea, Wales UK. by Stephen Foote

The key there became the beautiful, evocative forms left by water as it passed over rock and the land, an echo of it’s own shapes. This, coupled with intense news from the Antarctic about accelerated melting and glacial movement has kept my focus particularly on the Aquasphere.

The Aquasphere

It is changes with water that cause the most upheaval to the Biosphere. Water holds centre stage in the atmosphere’s massive weather events. More often than not it is at the forefront of dramatic episodes in the lithosphere: mud-slides, sink-holes, erosion and sometimes the provocation of volcanos.

Water takes so many forms: flowing (fresh and salt), vapour, ice. Each has a range of characteristics. The primary character is the Leviathan but there are many others involved.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Antarctic Guardian I, 33cm H x 83cm W x 36cm D.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Antarctic Guardian I, 33cm H x 83cm W x 36cm D.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Antarctic Harbinger II, 13cm H x 26cm W x 14cm D + base.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Antarctic Harbinger II, 13cm H x 26cm W x 14cm D + base.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios

Mountain River Sentinel, 69cm H x 39cm W x 28cm D.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios

Coastal Harbinger II, 43cm L x 29cm H x 22cm W.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios

Mountain River Harbinger, 37cm L x 21cm H x 19cm W.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios

Mountain River Sentinel, 69cm H x 39cm W x 28cm D.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios

Coastal Harbinger, 35cm L x 23cm H x 16cm W.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios.

Leviathan VIII, 56cm H x 97cm L x 28cm D.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios.

Leviathan V, 45cm H x 65cm L x 23cm D.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios.

Leviathan V, 45cm H x 65cm L x 23cm D.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios.

Leviathan IV, 35cm H x 61cm L x 29cm D.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios

Mountain River Sentinel, 69cm H x 39cm W x 28cm D.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Mountain River Guardian, 36cm H x 67cm L x 42cm D. Landscape Series. Cupola Contemporary Art Gallery, Sheffield, UK

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Mountain River Guardian I, 36 cm H x 67cm L x 42cm D.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios.

Leviathan IX, 35cm H x 60cm L x 25cm D.

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Leviathan II, 2015, 53cm H x 79cm L x 36cm D, ceramic.

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Leviathan II, 2015, 53cm H x 79cm L x 36cm D, ceramic.

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Leviathan II, 2015, 53cm H x 79cm L x 36cm D, ceramic.

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Leviathan II, detail, 2015, 53cm H x 79cm L x 36cm D, ceramic.

The Atmosphere

At first I was seeing atmosphere simply as sky. Weather, especially the fabulous, awe-inspiring kind like hurricanes. But the atmosphere is every where, filling every gap, breathing life into the world, even under the ocean.

For this reason the Osprey is it’s main form.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Antarctic Osprey II, 39cm H x 50cm W x 50cm D.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Antarctic Osprey II, 39cm H x 50cm W x 50cm D.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Antarctic Osprey II, 39cm H x 50cm W x 50cm D.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Osprey IX, 13cm H x 18cm W x 11cm D +base.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Antarctic Osprey I, 12cm H x 46cm W x 13cm D +base.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Antarctic Osprey I, 12cm H x 46cm W x 13cm D +base.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Antarctic Osprey III, 17cm H x 57cm W x 32cm D.

The Lithosphere

The Lithosphere, the geologic, stony part of the world has The Wyvern, a shape-shifting dragon that has taken a number of forms so far.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Guardians of the Valley, 30cm H x 67cm W x 26cm D.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Guardians of the Valley, 30cm H x 67cm W x 26cm D.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Wyvern IX, 14cm H x 38cm L x 15cm D.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Antarctic Harbinger and Sentinel, 28cm H x 17cm W x 13cm D + base.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Wyvern XI, 13cm H x 20cm L x 16cm D.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Wyvern, 11cm H x 15cm L.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Wyvern, 11cm H x 15cm L.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Wyvern, 11cm H x 15cm L.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Wyvern X, 12cm H x 21cm L x 11cm D.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Wyvern X, 12cm H x 21cm L x 11cm D.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Wyvern X, 12cm H x 21cm L x 11cm D.

The Biosphere

I  started looking at forms and ways to describe the Biosphere’s part of this story. ‘The Land’ sculptures started in The Landscape Series but this was different: it was no longer just the form and far more the theme of vulnerability. Change in the Natural world is  wonderful, a miracle. Frequently spectacular. And terrifying, heartbreaking, sometimes to dreadful to countenance especially where the Biosphere is concerned. But there is also belonging, the perfect fit of life grown out of the combined trinity of spheres. Nurtured, protected, watched over.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

Biosphere Sentinel II, 23cm H x 48cm L x 28cm D.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios

Biosphere Sentinel II, 23cm H x 48cm L x 28cm D.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios.

Biosphere’s Guardian I, 22.5cm H x 22.5cm W.

 

As with all my posts I will add to them over time as things develop. Here’s some links  to interesting, key parts of the research so far for the Throw-down at the Hoe-down:

26 years ago I left New Hampshire with my first son in my arms, new CD’s of Bela Fleck in my suitcase and returned to the UK. This extraordinary music sustained and developed my work  for 15 years. Steve Vai and later a wider variety joined Bela. But this track, Bigfoot, is the key and the seed that has lead to this new Series:

Bela Fleck’s Throwdown at the Hoedown seems like the perfect title for this new Series and a fair way to honour all his music has given me, so I’m going to go with that for a while.

This fascinating article by Randall Morris about Masks describes the process that I am trying to work through here. I have learnt a great deal from Randall since joining Cavin Morris Gallery. His amazing collection and beautiful writing brings clarity to, and pin points the essence of, what is important in art. I am an animist by nature and it is my job to portray what I see but the distractions can be over-whelming.

Published on May 6, 2016  

Short essay by Randall Morris

Animism: informative article by Sarah Anne lawless. 

There is a ‘modern’ resistance/confusion to animist ideas. The waters are muddied by spiritualist ideas, religions and fantasies. It can be difficult to avoid distractions when you are working on this kind of sculpture. The process is intuitive and free-flowing. Expertise with well organised techniques allow for that by managing the clay’s weight and ceramic requirements leaving the maker and material to associate with minimal restraint. I’m not taking a political, moral or religious stand. I’m just doing my thing, same as always, doing my bit to get the sculpture made. That feels very important to me and I don’t need to know why.

But none the less I keep informed on new science about consciousness in matter and enjoy the kinship and familiarity of Outsider art/ Art Brut. Having boundaries helps to weed out those irrelevant distractions.

Within animism there are many practices used to engage and interact with the spirit world, to put it over-simply. I’m not attempting that. My role is just to be part of it. A record keeper, perhaps, a chronicler to help my fellow 21st century folk maintain a link with the natural world.

Panpsychism: The idea that everything from spoons to stones are conscious is gaining academic credibility

How the Earth Made Us, a fantastic BBC 2 series by Professor Iain Stewart. And some fab clips from another series, Earth: The Power of the Planet.

Awesome iceberg video. I now collect these!

Climate change info with a really interesting, informative video of leading scientist, James Hansen explaining the findings.

Naomi Klien‘s fascinating and very readable book, This Changes Everything and the exciting, optimistic organisation of the same name.

The Up is Down Series.

 

 

The Landscape Series.

This Series is a collaboration with Photographer and Documentary Cameraman Stephen Foote.   Click on any picture to see it full size.

Stephen Foote and I met up after 30 years in 2014. We were good friends as teenagers, both rather disengaged with school, both making art in our own time. 30 years on we both still use art work as a major part of our interaction with this nutty world. Sharing our images was a key way we got to know each other again and harnessing that process in a joint project was simply a way of capturing what was occurring naturally. We set a straightforward ” Artists Respond to Landscape ” brief and kept a very open mind while we walked, talked, Steve took pictures and I just took it all in. We met every few months and sent each other pictures of the ensuing work in-between times.

Steve is also a Cameraman and was involved in filming for Panorama during the early, very heated phase in Kiev and the Crimea. I was coming to the end of the Up Is Down Series . Our first visit was Bracelet Bay, Mumbles, Swansea. Then we went into Porth Yr Ogof caves and had a mind-blowing day for me; we spent hours in the dark, natural cave while Steve took a fab series of photographs. I stood in the river in the darkness, held the lights and listened to the flow of water, felt the under-ground breezes. From there the project clarified for us as the travels of the water from the sky above the Brecon Beacons to the river, especially the Tawe, on down to the wide bay at Swansea, and out into the Ocean where much of it will return to the clouds and begin the circle again. As it flows it leaves it’s mark on the stone, the ground, the life it passes.

These pictures are roughly in sequence for the progression of work over time, with Steve’s photos next to the related sculptures in some cases.

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Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios

Wyvern, 10cm H x 18cm L x 11cm D.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios

Wyvern, 10cm H x 18cm L x 11cm D.

Wyvern X, 21cm L x 12cm H x 11cm D.

 

Water and Stone, Bracelet Bay, 2014, 24cmH x 56cm L x 33cm W, Marbled architectural ceramic.

Water and Stone, Bracelet Bay, 2014, 24cmH x 56cm L x 33cm W, Marbled architectural ceramic. Photo by Stephen Foote

Stephen Foote; Dunes

Stephen Foote; Dunes

Bracelet Bay, Mumbles, Swansea by Steve Foote

Bracelet Bay, Mumbles, Swansea by Steve Foote

in progress, July 2014

Wyvern I in progress, July 2014. 68cm H x 64cm W.

Bracelet Bay, Mumbles, Swansea by Steve Foote

Bracelet Bay, Mumbles, Swansea by Steve Foote

 

Bracelet Bay, Mumbles, Swansea by Steve Foote.

Bracelet Bay, Mumbles, Swansea by Steve Foote.

It was this fabulous picture of Bracelet Bay that shifted me abruptly into figures, much to my own surprise. The character of the Wyvern developed while making the public sculpture the Balarat Pit Marker in The Edge Series: the coal, a buried treasure to be used wisely or there would be consequences, watched over by a shape-shifting Welsh dragon.

Busts in progress, Aug 2014.

Wyvern busts in progress, Aug 2014.

Here the Wyvern is a guardian of stone.

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Wyvern V, 2015, 27cm H x 51cm L x 25cm D, black ceramic. Cavin Morris Gallery, New York.

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Wyvern V, 2015, 27cm H x 51cm L x 25cm D, black ceramic. Cavin Morris Gallery New York.

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Porth Yr Ogof Cave, Brecon Beacons, by Steve Foote, 2014. We spent hours down here and as I assisted the photography, standing in the river and pitch black, I felt the underground wind and heard all the sounds of water travelling through the rocks. Extraordinary. A living, breathing world of unparalleled beauty.

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Bracelet Bay, Mumbles, Swansea by Steve Foote

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Bracelet Bay, Mumbles, Swansea by Steve Foote

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Bracelet Bay, Mumbles, Swansea by Steve Foote

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The Wyvern III, 2014

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios

Wyvern II, 2014, 69cm H x 54cm W, x 31cm D, ceramic. Photo Stephen Foote.

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The Wyvern IV, Sept 2014

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The Wyvern and The Leviathan. in progress, Sept 2014.

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Wyvern VIII, 2015, 39cm H x 71cm L x 34cm D, ceramic. Cavin Morris Gallery New York.

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Wyvern VIII, 2015, 39cm H x 71cm L x 34cm D, ceramic. Cavin Morris Gallery New York.

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Wyvern VIII, detail. Photo Stephen Foote.

Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios

Wyvern VIII, Cavin Morris Gallery New York. Photo Stephen Foote.

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Water moves from one sphere to the next in all it’s forms, changing everything it passes. On heavy, stormy days here in the Brecon Beacons it careens in sheets 10cm deep across the grassy hills, colliding in the streams and rivers to tear down towards Swansea Bay. It drops through the gaps and cracks it has left in the stone to the fabulous caves it has been cutting for Millenia. Standing out in the middle of all this you can see the mountain ponies, uncompromising, resolute and beautiful. They became the Guardian of the water, the Leviathan, in it’s mountain form.

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Leviathan V, 2015, 11.5cm H x 25cm L x 9.5cm W, ceramic. Photo Stephen Foote.

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Leviathan VI, 2015, 12.5cm H x 21cm L x 8cm W, ceramic. Cavin Morris Gallery New York.

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Leviathan V, 2015, 11.5cm H x 25cm L x 9.5cm W, ceramic. Photo Stephen Foote.

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The Wyvern and the Osprey, 2014.

The Osprey followed as the guardian of the sky.

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Stephen Foote Photography.

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Osprey II, 65cm W x 50cm H. Photo Stephen Foote.

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Osprey II, 65cm W x 50cm H. Photo Stephen Foote.

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Osprey I, 40 cm W x 25cm H.Photo Stephen Foote.

Steve’s landscape photos unify everything exquisitely, portraying a vivid place with such clarity you can feel it around you. My sculptural response inevitably, and with some regret, separated the features which got me thinking more carefully about their connections.

The  sphinx-like form and majesty of the Brecon Beacons also showed up first in the Balarat Pit Marker. A classic sculptural motif, the reclining  figure, with it’s many options for themes. Like the complex internal aspect of the Beacons complete with breath, life (water) running through veins in the rock, hidden secrets, moods, supporting of forests, wildlife, and us since the dawn of time. The subtlety of age: the Beacons are especially ancient and have been many things in their past. ‘The Land’ sculptures are about this part of what we saw.

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Rebecca Buck Osprey Studios.

The Land II, 21cm H x 52cm L x 27cm D. Cupola Contemporary Art, Sheffield, UK.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios

The Land VIII, 21cm L x 12cm H x 11cm W.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios.

The Land III, 15cm H x 43cm L x 12cm D.  

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios.

The Land IV, 15cm H x 26cm L x 14cm D.

Rebecca Buck, Osprey Studios.

The Land I, 24cm H x 65cm L x 19cm D.

 

At this point the Series branches off into new territory lead by images and news about Climate Change rather than Steve’s photos and my local landscape. I have been following the fascinating progression of Climate Change for 35 years. At last it is a main-stream subject. It’s intriguing how people are still trying to avoid seeing it, the deniers but mostly the avoiders. My guilty secret is that I see it as thrilling: nature rejoicing in it’s power and spectacular magnificence, the wonder of transformation. Throwndown at Hoedown is an ongoing Series now.

This fascinating article by Randall Morris about Masks describes the process that I am trying to work through here. I have learnt a great deal from Randall since joining Cavin Morris Gallery. His amazing collection and beautiful writing brings clarity to, and pin points the essence of, what is important in art. I am an animist by nature and it is my job to portray what I see but the distractions can be over-whelming.

Short essay by Randall Morris

The Up is Down Series  proceeded The Landscape Series and was a transitionary point in how I put together forms, particularly in relation to their bases. The research involved clarified my thinking and ability to see.

Most of the sculptures in The Landscape Series are built with the technique explained in Heads and clay armatures.

The Up Is Down Series .

Up is Down IX, 20cm H x 49cm L x 31cm D, £800

Up is Down IX, 20cm H x 49cm L x 31cm D, £800

The Up Is Down Series started in November 2013. As often happens there was a progression from a previous Series ( the Edge). I knew there was a shift, and I knew what it was about, but couldn’t find the words for it. Sculpture is my ‘first language’, the one I think in and use to work out my understanding of the world. This is how it goes for many Artists, it’s not unusual.

Up is Down V, back view

Up is Down V, back view. Links to The Edge Series are obvious in this piece.

I’ve been describing our perceived borders in The Edge Series but we don’t actually possess  clear borders; the cloud of particles and especially  bacteria that make up us dissipates and interacts with our surroundings and fellows , interchanging constantly. When you leave the Forest some of it comes with you , some of you is left behind.We are constructed from atoms that have been used to form countless other things since the Big Bang. After death those atoms will move on to build other parts of the World. As my son put it beautifully when he was 5 ; ”So we become part of the mountain? Good.”

Up is Down V, 44cm H x 58cm L x 50cm D, £1700

Up is Down V, 44cm H x 58cm L x 50cm D, £1700. The Osprey theme recurs constantly in my work. Ospreys make their living crossing  the boarders between the earth,the sky and water.

Up is Down VII, back view

Up is Down VII, back view. Many of these pieces relate to the Half A Century Series.

Up is Down VIII, 18cm H x 43cm L x 30cm D, £800

Up is Down VIII, 18cm H x 43cm L x 30cm D, £800

Up is Down VI, 25cm H x 31cm L x 17cm D, £1100

Up is Down VI, 25cm H x 31cm L x 17cm D, £1100

http://www.sciencemusings.com/2008/01/key-to-riddle.html

by Chet Raymo

‘Behind the apparent decay and new growth the atoms endure, those mysterious and eternal particles that contain within themselves tendencies to combine and recombine in endlessly creative ways.

The church, the village, the rank tropical growth, the creatures that creep and fly and crawl are composed of recycled star dust, atoms forged billions of years ago in hot, massive stars, here woven by the hands of energy and entropy into a fabric of gorgeous complexity.

I went there for the same reason the naturalist/scientist Rachel Carson went to the edge of the sea. She wrote: “Underlying the beauty of the spectacle there is meaning and significance. It is the elusiveness of that meaning that haunts us, that sends us again and again into the natural world where the key to the riddle is hidden.”’

Up is Down IV, 31cm H x 58cm L x 37cm D, £1200

Up is Down IV, 31cm H x 58cm L x 37cm D, £1200

The title, Up Is Down, came from Hans Zimmer, the fabulous Composer and his brilliant piece of the same name  in Pirates of The Caribbean III. I have all 4 Pirates , Rango,and The Lone Ranger  sound-tracks on shuffle most of the time these days. Fantastic stuff,full of wild leaps of emotion , heady ideas and humour. His version of The William Tell Overture for The Lone Ranger is hilarious and wonderful.

Like the Up Is Down scene in Pirates III,”At Worlds End” this Series breaks away from the normal parameters that have defined my forms, particularly the base contacting with the table. It will take me a while to get this right but in theory the Sculptures can be turned and displayed any way you like ; the full 360 should have impact. The weight of the wet clay makes this very difficult to pull off….! I’ll get there. I will work smaller to reduce the weights and allow me to move through new forms more quickly. It is a massive challenge for someone who started out as a Vessel builder seeped in the tradition of the classic Vase form with it’s reliable base. But even in my earliest work , 30 years ago , that base kept trying to disappear. A-symatry and unlikely balance have always been my trade-marks.

Up is Down VII, 23cm H x 40cm L x 18cm D, £1200

Up is Down VII, 23cm H x 40cm L x 18cm D, £1200 

This piece still has a ‘base’ but it has nearly gone. It is not necessary  to loose the base for the piece to make sense; I work to Themes but I don’t set rigid rules because that would be trite. It is very difficult to trust that the Forms will evolve in a valuable way  given the freedom but if you don’t this work-meathod is meaningless. The idea is too prepare your craftsmanship, memory and sub-concious with as much expertise as you can. Then you add Music and  give your hands and clay free reign.

A new Up Is Down in progress

A new Up Is Down in progress

In Progress

Up is Down I ,41cm H x 80cm L x 48cm D, £1400 In Progress

Up Is Down II in progress

Up Is Down II in progress

 Extracts from J.P. Hodin, Barbara Hepworth, London, 1961, Two Conversations with Barbara Hepworth: ‘Art and Life’ and ‘The Ethos of Sculpture’, pp. 23–24(in conversation with J.P. Hodin, 18 August 1959)

“Art at the moment is thrilling. The work of the artist today springs from innate impulses towards life, towards growth – impulses whose rhythms and structures have to do with the power and insistence of life. […] In the past, when sculpture was based on the human figure, we knew this structure well. But today we are concerned with structures in an infinitely wider sense, in a universal sense. Our thoughts can either lead us to life and continuity or […] the way to annihilation. That is why it is so important that we find our complete sense of continuity backwards and forwards in this new world of forms and values. I see the present development in art as something opposed to any materialistic, anti-human or mechanistic direction of mind.”

Up Is Down III, 20cm H x 40cm L x 29cm D, £800

Up Is Down III, 20cm H x 40cm L x 29cm D, £800

Detail, Up Is Down VII

Detail, Up Is Down VII

Detail,Up Is Down VI

Detail,Up Is Down VI

The Breve Series of Miniatures

These Miniatures are often made on location in wild places. They are set lightly on a base of stone or wood found at the site so that you can easily handle and turn them as I did when I made them. Each one is a page from my journal with influences from the mountain-side, the elements, the news, music, whatever is upper-most in my mind. Made of fine, highly durable clays they will last for centuries. They are within 15 cm long.

White Breve I, 11cm H plus stone base, £110

White Breve I, 11cm H plus stone base.

Black Breve I, 17cm H plus base stone, £110

Black Breve I, 17cm H plus base stone.

Black Breve I, 17cm H + stone base. £110

Black Breve I, 17cm H + stone base.

Black Breve III, 13cm H + stone base, £110

Black Breve III, 13cm H + stone base.

Black Breve II, 11cm L + stone base, £110

Black Breve II, 11cm L + stone base.

White Breve III, 12cm L + stone base, £110

White Breve III, 12cm L + stone base.

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The Mobile Studio in one of my favourite, very quiet spots on the old road to Trecastle. The sound of the river fills the air. There are Buzzards, a Red Kite, Ravens, standing stones and the tough, small, mountain ponies that run on these hills. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The sky is huge here and ever-changing; storms blow in in minutes. I can carry on working inside the van. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Edge Series

The Edge Series has been on going for years, decades really, though not always under that title. The sculptures are abstract. Many are very personal but a lot of them are informed by films, books like The Life of Pi, other people’s stories and, of course, music is always in there, especially that of guitar god Steve Vai.

The landscape and our connection to it is often the narrative setting. Although there may be a figurative influence  it is a figure from the earth, not us. The relationship in South Wales with the land is literally deep from decades of mining and the Welsh have a beautiful word for their bond to their home-land, ‘Hiraeth’. The wonder and danger of coal has coloured the culture and heritage here for thousands of years and the evidence of that blends in with the natural landscape so ubiquitously that it’s hard to tell them apart.

Along the cliffs of parts of the spectacular coast-line here in Wales you can see seams of black coal in the rock. Geology shaped by water and time is very much part of The Edge narrative.

The mountains of the Brecon Beacons are ancient and worn by the wind and water. The highest, Pen y Fan, has a very figurative form rather like a sphinx that you can see in the Balarat Pit Marker, a Public Sculpture from The Edge Series.

Pen Y Fan by Chris Goddard,Wales.

Pen Y Fan by Chris Goddard, Wales.

Balarat Pit Marker , Blaengarw,Wales,6m long.

Balarat Pit Marker, Blaengarw, Wales, 6m L x 2m H.

Balarat was very much about our fraught relationship with oil and coal and the sadness of the Land at the tragedy a gift can cause.

I joke that The Edge is about Death but it’s not actually that clear cut. Boarders, turning points, changes we choose or that creep up on us all have an edge we need to pass. These sculptures are about reaching that point and the many, mixed emotions we get about it. Essentially there are two places shown with a door between them. The emphasis can be on any part.

Forms with holes have always held us.

Men-an-Tol,Cornwall,3000-5000 years old. (photographer unknown)

Men-an-Tol, Cornwall, 3000-5000 years old. (photographer unknown)

Monument Rocks , Kansas , USA ,photographer unknown.

Monument Rocks, Kansas , USA photographer unknown.

Here is a collection of the Edge Sculptures. I’ll keep adding to it as I get new Images.

The Edge , May 2013

The Edge, May 2013

The Edge,May 2013

The Edge, May 2013

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The Edge, 38cm L x 32 cm H
The Edge,43 cmm L x 25 cm H x 24 cm D

The Edge, 43 cmm L x 25 cm H x 24 cm D

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The Edge I , 52 cm h.This on-going series is about the boundaries between our worlds and out hopes and fears about them.

The Edge I, 52 cm h.

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Calon Lan Memorial Garden,The Feel Good Factory,Bryncynon,Wales

Calon Lan Memorial Garden, The Feel Good Factory, Bryncynon,Wales

A playful version designed with the Cefn Pennar Youth Club for their football field

A playful version designed with the Cefn Pennar Youth Club for their football field.

Cefn Pennar Dragon , back view.

Cefn Pennar Dragon, back view.

Wonderfully people have started sending me  amazing Edge type images.

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The River Series

River Harbinger, 125cm H.

River Harbinger, 125cm H, at Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Garden.

The River Series is an off shoot of the Wind Water Fire series merged with the Harbingers. It coalesced here in the Beacons in 2012 after 12 years in the stunning Upper Rhondda surrounded by waterfalls.

The view from my door step;One of many waterfalls in beautiful Blaencwm,Rhondda

Blaenrhondda, Rhondda Valley

The rivers in the Rhondda ran black for decades.Now you can drink the sparkling icy water.

The rivers in the Rhondda ran black with coal dust for decades. Now you can drink the sparkling, icy water.

Wind,Water,Fire III

Wind Water Fire III. 1m H.

When I first tried the Scarva black clays about 3 years ago I made a number of reclining figures and harbingers many of which were so awful they got recycled! But this one with a water theme I have hung onto knowing I wasn’t done with it. A lot of the work from it is now showing up in The Edge landscapes. Moss and lichens are the perfect finishing touch.

Reclining Harbinger,80cm L

Reclining River Harbinger, 80cm L.

I’ve been off down various roads with it, some of them dreadful!! I’m definatly not done with it .

Like the Harbingers it is an environmental theme about the land and our relationship with it. Knowing you have drinking water running clear near your home is a treasure that means more to us all than we dare to think.

After the move to the Brecon Beacons I found we had this stunning river just below our new home. It is the river of the Henrhydd Falls, south Wales’s tallest Falls made famous by the last Batman movie.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I go there several times a week for the peace and beauty.

Rebecca, Buck, Osprey, Studios, Ceramics, Clay, Clays, Pots, Bowls, Art, Sculpture, Architectural, Knick-knacks, Knick, Knacks, for, the, Mantles, Rich, Public, Monuments, Brick, Wales, Brecon, Beacons, American, Wonderful, Tired, Coilbuilding, Cement, monumental, Rivers, Join-in, volunteers, wrokshops, Classes, Community, star centre, Blaengarw,

The River, 1.5m, commission, 2012.

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River Harbinger, 125cm H.

River Harbinger, 125cm H.

 

The Half A Century Series.

The Half A Century Series began some years ago when I turned 50 in 2011. That is traditionally a prime time to do some major reviewing of one’s time in this nutty life! It is a largely autobiographical series but I hope the  images and curves feel familiar to many of you.

The forms are figurative but more to do with the internal experience of the body, movement and emotion.

Contemporary Dance Performance and Photographs like this wonderful picture are hugely influential in this series.

Louis Blanc,photographer unknown.

Louis Blanc, photographer unknown.

It started with these figures in a constructivist style I really like but only used occasionally at that time. I had had an unexpected surgery that took the strength and some movement from my arms for a while so working solid in this scale was not an option.

Half a Century I , 48 cm h.

Half a Century I, 48 cm h.

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Half A Century II

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Half A Century III

These more abstracted figures were all made in early 2013.

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Half a Century VI, 24cm H x 32cm L x 24cm D.

Rebecca, Buck, Osprey, Studios, Ceramics, Clay, Clays, Pots, Bowls, Art, Sculpture, Architectural, Knick-knacks, Knick, Knacks, for, the, Mantles, Rich, Public, Monuments, Brick, Wales, Brecon, Beacons, American, Wonderful, Tired, Coilbuilding, Cement, monumental, Rivers, Join-in, volunteers, wrokshops, Classes, Community, star centre, Blaengarw,

Half a Century VII, second view.

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Half a Century VII.

 

The Musing Series is not so directly personal but they were made at the same time as these black figures and they are linked.

The Life’s a Beach Series preceded Half a Century but it is also part of the same on-going theme. It is 10 reclining figures about a story I was told about Port Talbot; The area was a stunning beauty spot of huge, gorgeous sand-dunes. In the early part of the Industrial Revolution tourists came from all over the world to wonder at the grace of the  curves and forms created over millennia. Then it occurred to someone that all that sand was handily placed for making plenty of concrete to build an Industrial Port…..! The figure’s form is taken from sea-worn coast-line and the wry gesture of a Mae West style character smiling inwardly at the lack of appreciation for the nuanced beauty only age and experience can bestow.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This old Apple Tree overlooks the waterfall I visit regularly. It supports  a mass of moss, ferns and lichen, archetypically ancient. Yet every spring it still puts out a few delicate pink blossoms. They don’t come to fruit but it doesn’t matter.

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August 2017.

The continuation of this series is Beyond Half a Century where the ideas move forward from the transitions at 50. This turn in the road came when my mother died after a very long and complicated struggle with illness. As in the earlier forms in the Series, the sculptures are very direct and un-edited outlets for how I feel at that moment. Once the expression is fixed I will work on for as long as it takes to clear off any irrelevant material until it rings true. They can be about all sorts of things. I turn to this work to clarify thinking that words wont un-ravel or when I am over-whelmed.

These pieces are from 2017.