I see my three-dimensional drawings as a return to a way of working that I first began when on the MA Sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art.
Back then I drew on top of planks of wood, paper bags, chairs (see the one on Contemporary British Drawing title page) shirts to name a few. All these objects were already in existence and I was appropriating them as hosts for my drawings that paradoxically mapped the object surfaces back onto themselves.
When I left Wimbledon money and space were tight so I went back to drawing on paper -the drawings were created in order to be projected on a cinematic scale. I was also travelling a lot and I've always liked how lo-fi and transportable pencil drawing can be.I was obsessed by capturing the transition from light to darkness with the projected works and you can see this in the extreme chiaroscuro in the drawings. After 10 years of working in this way I knew that I had to return to drawing across three dimensions.
I tried to ignore this knowledge for a while but it wouldnt go away so in order to find a way back to it and deal with the fear (and excitement!) I decided to concentrate on making paper clay objects that were similar to those in the British Museum collections. I am a huge history nerd and I got excited by the artefacts that dated from the neolithic era through to the Ancient Egyptian's and the early to late Medieval. I felt that the makers from these periods seemed to have a directness of intent thatI really wanted to feel in my own work. This directness is also useful for bypassing ones inner critic and I knew that in order for my practice to develop I had to attempt that. The first time that I drew on one of my sculptures was a major breakthrough for me. I think up till that point I hadn't realised that I could make an object in order to draw on it. Now the floodgates are open and its very exciting as I feel I'm at the start of another cycle of work.
Sometimes the ideas arrive fully formed as if shot by an arrow into my brain. 'Aint No Saint was like that - I could picture it fully made in my mind prior to making it. Most of the time, though, the works each progress through a series of evolutions where I try out a drawing. This can be as many as 9 attempts on the same host sculpture.
When it finally comes right I feel as though it has become what it wanted to be. It's very hard for me to say what comes first, the sculpture or the drawing, as both are equally important. Pieces such as Medusa Shit and Guts were made to be challenging forms, tests if you like. As in, if you are going to draw across three dimensions then what is the best type of form for testing that? Others, such as the hands, masks, and now the heads are made specifically to be hosts to drawings, but the individual drawing materialises through negotiation with the language of their forms. I love how their three-dimensionality pushes the two-dimensional medium into becoming a three-dimensional drawing that can confront a viewer.
I am always interested in keeping the language of the drawing somewhere between the ancient past and the far distant sci-fi future. My friend, the