Curvilinear form



Made from Lime wood, 40cm in length. (Blisters, callouses and aching arms accompanied.)
Entire form above, detail below.

I laboriously carved a series of these forms several years ago. 9 hours a day, day after day (running into weeks) of ‘Thunk, thunk, thunk, THUNK…’ The ‘thunk’ was the sound of a round mallet hitting the end of the gouge and the final (slightly different) note as the material came away. Sometimes another carver (Hello Robyn :)) joined me in the workshop and we pounded a syncopated rhythm together.

At the time I was exploring three dimensions and how they could combine to describe a form. Specifically, curved forms. How I deplored gravity! Why could I not have the form floating in space without the need for fixings? They got in the way! I needed to see every imperfection in the surface or the sculpture as I modified it until it matched what I held in my mind’s eye.

It is said there are a thousand sculptures waiting inside material yet to be hewn. The real skill might be considered the process of their birth. Perhaps it takes the mind of a dreamer who transcends the ordinary, added to a particular kind of spatial sense, but also powered by a body tough and energetic enough to see a vision through to reality.

This particular piece was liberated from a rectilinear block of substantial proportions; the finished form is nearly 40cm in length.

As is the nature of abstract forms it is possible to interpret them in different ways. Over the years I have thought of this particular piece as ‘The lisping form’, or perhaps as an expression of the way long hair sweeps round the skull of its owner. Once I wondered if it could be a bizarre aural element? An ear for who knows what..? Perhaps a futurist form in motion through space, à la Brancusi…

A key quality of this piece is touching it. They are not sculptures designed to be preciously perched away from or quarantined far out of the reach of their audience. When they were displayed, instead of the usual ‘Do not touch’ sign, the small card said ‘Please handle and touch with care’. I’m not sure how many did, but I hope it made some smile to receive the invite.

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