Published On: May 6, 2024462 words2.3 min read

Just recently I watched an old recording of a Henry Moore interview by John Freeman in the series Face to Face (1960) and was interested to compare his thoughts about the making of sculpture with those that I have experienced since I became a sculptor.

There is no doubt that I have always admired Moore’s work and he has been a presence in my working life ever since. I was struck by the similarities and the way that we have worked, as well as the differences, one of which was that Henry Moore became one of the highest taxpayers in the UK and I certainly haven’t!

Henry felt that a major influence on his work was his feelings for the landscape and thus the placement of his sculptures in it. In the 1920’s he began creating small elmwood and bronze reclining figures and gradually moved on to his well-known outdoor bronzes, some of which stretch across hilltops as if rooted in the earth. Of course, many reside or are shown in urban spaces and galleries.

In contrast, my main preoccupation has always been semi-abstract work based on the human figure. I am more interested in depicting the feelings and emotions of people in my work so my sculptures have tended to be in more vertical form. However, I have sometimes done reclining figures, both interior and exterior works, as a contrast to the upright works which mainly dominate my output. Indeed a few years ago, I completed a commission for a large horizontal lakeside piece for a Wiltshire garden.

Talking of commissions, like Henry Moore who found them inhibiting, I am not so keen on accepting them. But over the years, I have n fact created a number of works for corporate clients. Fortunately, the brief for these has always demanded a sculpture in my particular style. My commissioned work can also be found outside hospitals, in places of worship and other public spaces.

People often ask me about the holes in my sculpture. When Henry introduced them into his early works, there were comments and criticism in the press. But I agree with him that these help to lead the eye through to the back in order to understand the form. It is very often that the spaces between those forms are the most important factor of a successful work.

Of course, the main difference between myself and Henry is that he became an international figure in the world of sculpture with a workshop of assistants, whereas I have always worked alone in my studio. This has suited my temperament and the convenience and joy of just walking out of my back door and going a few yards into the garden and the former stable which I have used since 1977.

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