Home of the original life-size driftwood horses.
Clover and the heads
The view from the graffiti table.
Burntwood bull bison 4 x 6 inches.
Sentinel, bronze, approximately 20 inches x 18 x 6 edition of 12.
At The Eden Project. The bronze and the original side by side.
To see more go to the driftwood bronze page.
It is great to stretch my capacity; I am having a wonderful time exploring the characteristics of different breeds whilst at the same time considering the abstract element of form and space held in the interior of figurative sculptures. Other works such as the large heads, Equus, and the leapers like Sweet September depart more obviously from the literal whilst maintaining the quality that, to me, embodies the true nature of horse. As James Joyce famously put it;
'Unsheathe your dagger definitions. Horseness is the whatness of allhorse'
Integrating a wider range of materials with driftwood and oak into the life-size sculptures has been a fascinating experience; there is more variety of texture and I have been able to escape the limitations made by a steel armature which has allowed a greater fluidity in the large works.
'Dylan' - a fine young cob colt with a great deal of energy and a large personality. Here just before leaving from the foundry to go to Wales where some lovely clients have the perfect garden for him.
Experimenting with small 2D work I began to use my blow torch, now there are postcard sized original drawings on paper and burntwood works, traditionally known as pokerwork or pyrography.
I have also been working on a new series of larger burnt works like this one in progress, 'After Equus' is slightly smaller than the driftwood reliefs such as 'Heartbreak Horse' and 'Out of a Winter Sea' (Teignbridge district council collection)
My Dutch photojournalist friends Pieter Paul Koster and Inga Oostenrijk came for a few days.
I was certain they would photograph the thoroughbred under the oak tree, it had caused a sensation at Darley Stud's stallion parade at Newmarket but I was wrong, something else took their eyes.
'Sugar Babe' is a bronze edition of five and is almost a mirror image of the very first driftwood bronze foal of mine 'Sugar Plum'.
Slightly larger is 'Cherry Pie' a bronze edition of five.
I am hoping to find another property, somewhere with serious barns for storing driftwood from the beaches , a large yard, a few acres, birdsong, clear air and water where I can keep my horses close, have open country to ride through and make a new sculpture garden.
Sadly one of my favourite driftwood pieces fell completely to bits in the winter, rotted out as eventually happens with all driftwood work left outside. It did incredibly well to last seven years before the gales got the better of it on my exposed site. Fortunately we had already made a mould and it has a new lease of life as Sweet September, immortalised in bronze and now selling strongly. The one above, 'Landing' was rescued just days before and will also be cast in bronze.
Safe inside and in bronze are the elephants, the smallest of all my sculptures. Editions of 15
Child is the calf who fits into the palm of my hand, Matriarch is the mother 11 inches tusk to tail.
A WORLD AWAY.
Some time ago I was visited by the wonderful warm-hearted and enthusiastic Lise Cormier.
Lise is the Chief Executive of Montréal International Mosaïculture and she made me a very interesting proposal.......
She came with the Director of Montréal Botanical Garden, Gilles Vincent and Ginette Marotte, the Vice Mayor to commission a contemporary horse sculpture for Mosaïculture 2013. www.mosaiculture.ca
They chose to have an oak life-size mare and foal. I was very pleased to go and see them installed last June already looking at home among the very new planting in the Botanical Gardens.
Here is the mare, with another equine commissioned by a private client from New Orleans, patiently waiting in the yard for the shippers last May. They were so similar that they could have been related."
Interview: Heather answering questions about the creative process click here
For a bit of sheer delight and amazing jewellery visit gorgeous Kate Higham.
The Ugbrooke Connection. 1999 to the present day.
In 1999 I had been making life-size sculpture for two years and could barely turn my car in the yard for the accumulation of driftwood surrounding my house. It would be hard to sell the property without a big clear out but I was unsure how I could do that without interrupting the flow of work. My last major exhibition had been at The National Trust's Saltram House near Plymouth when my original life-size driftwood mare and foal were made in response to the magnificence of the Stable Courtyard.
At the time I was the only British artist working with driftwood and The Press had gone wild; the massive coverage made the show a resounding success and demand was almost overwhelming.
It was at this point that Lord Clifford came up trumps.
Ugbrooke House, in common with many other great historic houses, has a traditional stable courtyard and Lord Clifford offered to rent it me together with the two cottages that formed the rear wall. I signed the lease in October. It was heaven to have such an ideal working space and sculpture poured out of me; I took on a full time assistant and word of my horses spread. Acknowledgement followed when, as part of the millennium celebrations, I was invited to take part in The Shape of The Century - One hundred Years of Sculpture in Britain at Canary Wharf in London alongside all the greats; Moore, Frink, Caro, Hepworth. to name few. Tim Smit, founder of the Eden Project in Cornwall, bought the full size driftwood horse that became known simply as 'The Eden Horse' which had been built in the Stable Courtyard. Shortly afterwards I bought my current property only two miles from Ugbrooke and started to make my sculpture garden. It is now in it's twelfth year and is starting to look to look quite mature.
A caution: the copyright of any artwork belongs to the artist. People may take photos of my work for their own enjoyment but not for commercial gain. Thank you to my followers who alerted me and for their concern, I have also been made aware of the number of people now producing driftwood horses. Whilst I am grateful for the loyalty and indignation expressed, I have to say that I never claimed the discipline of working with driftwood to be mine alone and have always been very open about my working process.