About my work

I live on a houseboat surrounded by nature in a small community, set in a beautiful strip of forest originally planted to provide wood for the maintenance of the locks and footbridges on the Basingstoke Canal. The most striking differences to living above a shop on a busy high street in London are sensory; the look, the smells, sounds, the atmosphere and a feeling of peacefulness. Stepping out of the front door in Haringey, everything was urban, man-made, commercial, technological, manufactured. Leaving the boat you step into nature. Trees, plants, birdsong and water instead of traffic noise. The stars are visible at night. Although the road is only a few hundred yards away, town is just beyond the tree-line, it is possible to imagine we are in the middle of nowhere.

Living in this green environment inspired me to create work that resonates with the surroundings. Wood from the trees
that we live amongst is the most readily available material. I choose pieces that look interesting as if they have a story to tell. Sometimes where they have interacted with a man-made object such as a rope tied to the trunk or a branch, the tree has grown around the obstruction, creating a synthesis with the living wood.

Looking at some of my sculptures, I constantly find shapes and forms echoed in the nature that surrounds us.
I do not consciously imitate these shapes, however they always seem to be there. Two of the root balls cleaned up and inverted are unmistakably trees. One pair from the Ilex series look like the big white lilies that grow every year outside our front door. The group of plant forms from the tree with the growths remind me of the Turkish sage in my next door neighbours garden.

The body of work is from wood locally sourced from the area where we live.
Trees cut down on the moorings, some found on the tow path and the larger pieces from the wood yard of a friend who takes out trees for a living. So far I have not used professionally seasoned wood. Some pieces are very green, others have aged or even started to decay outdoors. This means the wood will start to split when it is worked on.
This factor which is not in my control becomes part of the process and the design.
This means I need to return to the pieces, rework and adapt them some months after they are first finished.
This is also true of the surface. If they are left outdoors the wood will age, darken, sometimes be stained with natural mould not unlike the foxing on the pages of antiquarian books.

When refinishing is necessary, after time the pieces develop a rich patina. All of these factors, the splitting, ageing, changing colour all resonate with their origin as living things, growing and developing, ageing with the passage of time.