Carved Figures standingOver twenty years ago a friend of ours had been on trip to Australia and Africa and on her return she brought us a gift of two small African figures from Nairobi.  Ever since, these have stood in our bedroom on the dressing table, I see them every morning as the light comes in creating wonderful figurative shadows on the wall.   They sometimes appear to whisper to each other and look very aware of what is going on around them.  I think these were my initial influence into the majesty that is African art; it has appeared frequently in my work since the day they came into our home.  They lit my fuse.

Carved FiguresTribal Tales I & II. (blog)jpg

Only last year (2012) I reverted back to the figures for an exhibition at Harding House Gallery titled “Figuratively Speaking”, creating two  wall mounted glass panels (Tribal Tales I &II).

African cards

At art school we were given a project based on a tribal theme to design three playing cards and also to design the back of the card. This was an ideal opportunity to delve further into African tribal art, exploring their cultural, religious and social values through colour and design.  The primitive simplicity is what really appealed to me and various simple designs though expertly produced have stuck with me throughout my art career.

Reliquary Figure

Yoruba gourd  & decoration study

Hot Masks

The square, circle and triangle, the simplest of forms are abundant in African tribal art and design and all with their own individual relevance within that culture.  Inspiration can be drawn from costume, textiles, vessels and objects relating to their beliefs. There is so much you can create from one single influence if it is explored, developed and adapted to suit your own individual style.

Mahogony copper linoTwo experimental pieces based on textile designs and below a finished sculpture which stands alongside the two small figures on the dressing table, this originally was an experimental piece.

9 Akan Revived (1996-2009) Burnt oak copper slateAkan BowlI feel the need to progress but with as little outside influence as possible, a self-development is very important to an artist so taking an idea one step further, sometimes over a number of years, can be very rewarding.

If you would like to see more of the stuff that comes out of my shed, visit my website

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s