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The Hand That Caught Me Falling

2016 | Bronze, Wood and Chrome | 73 x 53 x 70 cm

Sometimes in life you fall.  Fall from love, fall from grace, fall from self, fall from dreams.  This is a sculpture of the beautiful hand that caught my soul as it plummeted.  I am forever grateful.

 

 

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Rejuvenation

Anamorphic Sculpture

Copper and Chrome | 60 x 60 x 45 cm

Without fail science, magic, and religion have pandered to the cult of youthfulness. More than merely camouflaging a pandemic fear of death, the desire for rejuvenation is a rejection of the infirmities and diseases of old age.  It is a desire to regain the beauty and vitality of youth. 

Source: www.answers.com


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Kiss of chytrid

Bronze and Steel

Music on this clip "I fall in love too easily" by Avishai Cohen, www.avishaicohenmusic.com

We are witnessing a mass extinction of Amphibia. An exotic fungus called Chytrid is delivering the blow.


Chytrid is now reported on all continents where frogs live - in 43 countries. It survives at elevations from sea level to 20,000 feet. Locally it may be spread by anything from a frog’s leg to a bird’s feather and it has afflicted over 200 species. Gone from the wild are the Costa Rican golden toad, the Panamanian golden frog, the Wyoming toad, the Australian gastric-brooding frog. In a 2007 paper, Australian researcher Lee Berger and colleagues put it this way: “The impact of Chytrid on frogs is the most spectacular loss of vertebrate biodiversity due to disease in recorded history.”

In ancient Egypt Frogs symbolised life and fertility. For children through the ages they have been a slippery introduction to the natural world. Frogs represent an order that has weathered over 300 million years to evolve into more than 6,000 singular species. 

Beautiful, diverse - and imperilled. Extracts from National Geographic, April 2009

Us humans have assumed our superiority in the age-old battle of species on earth. Our golden time at the top of the evolutionary pyramid is a beautifully fleeting moment. The impact of Chytrid on Frogs is a lesson for us.  It is a reminder that we are part of a planet teeming with competitive yet interconnected life forms. Life is a feedback system.

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Yogi Banker

2010 | Copper and Chrome | 75 x 52 x 36 cm

I've spent some thought time trying to explain to myself what happened in the Credit Crunch of 2007. Ultimately it came down to lack of transparency at multiple levels from credit risk scoring to flawed hyper-diversification models.  

The human ingredients through the good times were mathematics and confidence. In the aftershock, we turned to Quantitive Easing and prayer.  The sculpture Yogi Credit Crunch paints the surprisingly spiritual conversation I had with one powerful Goldman Sachs banker as he sat in the eye of the storm..

Copper and Chrome | 75 x 52 x 36 cm

 

 

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Maternal hands

2014 | Resin and Chrome | 80 x 80 x 42

My mother was the study for this sculpture.  As we spent quiet hours together in the studio, I took great care to appreciate the true depth and meaning of the hands I saw before me. I imagined them holding a baby, I imagined them holding me.  The hands that reared my spirit, the hands that carry all that I am. The hands of nurture, the hands of nature.   

For me this sculpture represents that unknown aspects of a mother, the complex decisions that maternal hands make through the life of a child.  This sculpture the reflection of the hands that created most of whom I really am.  The combination of thousands if not millions of small maternal gestures and moments that together add up in the  most beautiful of formulae. The mathematics of me.

 

 

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Yoda and the Anamorph

Winner of the Maidstone Museum Bentliff Prize, People's Choice Award.

Curated finalist in the  2013 ING Discerning Eye Awards.
 

Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term for "Enlightenment". Buddhist teachings explain that our perceptions of reality are built on the foundation of ego. In essence, the greatest obstacle to enlightenment is the self. The self is a worldly illusion created by desires and needs. 

The self, is a construction built on social conventions and personal history. Satori is consciousness free of ego and it depends on complete identification with the not-self. Yoda and the Anamorph uses the precise language of mathematics to encapsulate the deeply complex and temporal not-self.

Yoda and the Anamorph is also a religious Jedi piece. It took over 1 billion calculations to produce this sculpture and in hindsight it would probably have been easier to go straight for Buddhist enlightenment."Looking? Found someone you have, eh?" Yoda, Star Wars.

 

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Savoy Cat

2014-2015 | White Bronze and Chrome

To avoid a repeat performance, the Savoy offered a member of staff to join tables of thirteen thereafter. Unable to discuss private matters or feel at ease, this proved to be unpopular with guests and thus, in a stroke of genius, Kaspar was born: a two foot high sculpture of a black cat was created in 1927 by British designer Basil Ionides to stave off bad luck.

For almost 90 years The Savoy has been more than happy to oblige parties of thirteen with Kaspar's company, whereby he joins in with napkin around his neck and a full place setting to 'enjoy' every course. Winston Churchill, who adored Kaspar, insisted that the cat join him at every gathering of The Other Club.

One of my great heroes, Arthur C. Clarke once said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".

Kaspar The 14th Guest is a commissioned sculpture for Kaspar's Restaurant at The Savoy Hotel London where I spent several months as Artist in Residence.  

In 1898 South African diamond magnate Woolf Joel held a dinner at The Savoy for fourteen guests and one cancelled at the last minute. The dinner continued, but one superstitious guest announced that death would come to the first person to leave the unlucky table of thirteen. Joel took that gamble and a few weeks later he was shot dead in Johannesburg. 

This is what I learned:
We believe in superstition as an irrational response to our lack of understanding of how the universe works.
Superstition handles the element of our lives that we can't understand. Superstition gives us the illusion of control in an unpredictable world. Superstition is a comfortable sofa for our self doubt.

So in a haze of artistic angst I turned to the greatest irrationality of them all .... I turned to the mathematical constant Pi.

Just incase any of you are wondering what the mathematical description of irrational is: it means that there are a never ending number of decimal places. It turns out for example that it is completely impossible to cut a cottage pie into 3 perfectly equal slices.

If you look carefully at this sculpture you'll see that it is distorted out in a circle. The essence all circles in nature is Pi. What better way to represent the ephemeral notion of superstition than with the magic number itself.

I have no doubt that many of you glazed over at school when your maths teacher tried to explain Pi to you. Here I deliver you a tangible way of understanding it visually, and through this work I hope to share with you my understanding of the nature of superstition and why Kaspar the 14th guest is important at the Savoy. 

You've all heard the story of Kaspar and this sculpture presents a paradox.

One the one hand this sculpture has been crafted by some of the most advanced technologies known to humankind. 3D printing, spacial scanning, massive processing power, 3D graphics, advanced chemistry and complex mathematics. It is a sculpture created both by hand and by super science. I mean this literally.

And yet, science by its very nature is an antidote to superstition.

As a mathematical artist, when I got this commission, I was left trying to represent the concept of magic (superstition) with the very tools that undermine it. I turned to google and hunted for academic papers on superstition, finally coming across an academic called Stuart A. Vyse, University of Coniticut.

 

The Illusive

100cm x 80cm x 60cm

2016 |  Oil Painting on plaster & Chrome

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