HOW WERE YOU FIRST INTRODUCED TO THIS TYPE OF WORK AND WHAT DID YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR EARLY EXPLORATION OF IT?
I began sculpture at age 3. Examining the spaces between objects, for example, putting strings between chair and table. I still feel the sense of fun, of inquiry.
HOW HAS YOUR WORKED CHANGED AND DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS? WHAT FACTORS DO YOU THINK AFFECTED THIS?
The possession and use of tools, how to use effectively, technical limits and possibilities. A fine arts degree, to find focus. Just intensity plus time. I tried many media, they all intersect somewhere. It is hard once success has been found in an area to break into new areas after that. Luckily I am free to follow wherever the trail leads.
Travel has been the major informer, then seeing NZ and its resources with new eyes. Italia this year, in one week, attending the World EXPO in Milano, the Biennale de Venezia and finding the Museo de Egyto, which has the biggest collection of Egyptian artefacts outside of Egypt. Fine, streamlined, modernistic styled and massive works, which originate in ancient culture.
And the EXPO with its astonishingly varied pavilions. So many design solutions to the temporary building paradigm. And also in Europe this year, standing in my first crop circle. My impression of this, is that they are not made my humans. Half a century of studying human making with all its attendant clues, prompts me to think and feel, these constructions are originating from beyond the human realm.
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHERE YOU WORK FROM? WHAT DO YOU FIND SPECIAL ABOUT LIVING OUT WEST?
I live the dream somewhat, as I can work out of a fine large studio, with 450 windows and a curtain wall of glass facing north into the rainforest. The studio is purpose built with massive floors and beams and doors. The curl and colour of nature in the deep bush setting, the scent and oxygen, the seclusion and chance to make a real creative mess!
Bliss! There are giant old Puriris and two waterfalls and a beach with no houses just down the road. All we need now is to make the connections between the creative community and our cohabitants. Create the culture of beauty and expression.
WHAT CAN VISITORS EXPECT TO SEE WHEN THEY POP BY YOUR STUDIO DURING OPEN STUDIOS WAITAKERE?
I have a dozen works on the go, most more or less complete. One I have been working on for three years. A real magnum opus. SHE. And in partnership with the Chinese, a series of deer antler and ancient kauri chairs. I am excited about this east meets west, mutual influence. We can learn much from China, it is still beyond the great wall in terms of cultural access for Westerners.
I was fortunate to tour there in the wood carving areas a few years ago. WOW! They are masters in this area and we had a great time as they really enjoyed seeing my work and its modernity, as much of their production is in traditional forms. Also I procured some tools unavailable in NZ (which is good as they are lethal tools. As they said, be very careful. And I have come as close as I ever have to a serious, um, close shave???) But if you want to carve wood.... I was literally ecstatic as it brings me closer to finding mastery. So it can be a good time to visit as the whole art production process can be observed in various pieces at various stages.
NAME YOUR TOP 5 SECRET SPOTS YOU LIKE TO VISIT IN THE WAITAKERE RANGES?
For me its usually the coasts, pounding surf or wading birds, tidal pools,tree blossoms and creatures, the deep emotion of calm which comes from full immersion in the natural world. This feeds back into the sculpture as I try to leave the materials at their natural best, with all their gnarly character, this is totally at odds with the modern way of chopping up materials and rendering them square and flat. Eeeek! Anyway, artists need solitude, so our spots will remain secret!
However. I am affiliated with Te Henga Studios collective and we make lots of creative fun out there and they graciously show four of my works on their beautiful grounds.