Early on, I made a decision that plays a distinct role in my work. I chisel wood by hand, without the use of power tools, drawing inspiration from my surroundings. My current work builds upon my Urban Archaeology series and wanders into the realm of natural history. This series is a study of fallen plants and other natural objects in their wilted, degenerative state.
These sculptures highlight the intrigue and beauty in an overlooked, everyday object. A single fallen leaf may be one in a thousand, looking much the same as another. It is my hope that my sculptures will make you stop and look at its form, to study it in its own right, and to see how stunning and complex it truly is.
In this new body of work called Vessel, I explore these objects in a new way, both in physical scale and material craft. Instead of carving a solid block of wood to create a sculpture, I built a wooden and metal armature to support a plaster shell. Instead of removing material, the process was additive.
Using the original wood sculpture as a model, I exploded the scale of the leaf by 1200%. This allowed me to physically be in the sculpture as I built it up – to truly understand its form, its every fold and curve, both inside and out.
Through this process, I hope to create moments of mystery, wonderment and reflection on the meaning of an object and what its purpose might be. What is this fragile, dried leaf that has been rendered in wood and then plaster? Is it a coffin, a cocoon or a life raft? The appearance of a wilted leaf is strangely beautiful; its form suggests something else. I can give no real answer aside from a suggested narrative both in its title, materiality and scale.