• New workshop & new site

    Hullo 2018.

    The new workshop is really taking shape, in a refurbished timber workshop in some woodland on the mountains above Loch Ness...

    Loch Ness Sculpture Studio

    Fine Art Casting, Metal Sculpture. Artist Blacksmiths & Welders.

    (www.lochnesssculpturestudio.com)

    Expect some direct metal sculpture in weather beaten salvaged scottish metals & woodfired pots of tea.

    Soon come. Follow the river.

    Full website launch soon...

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  • Lost & Found

    Some new work in the gallery to finish off 2017. a hellava' year.

    Anyway, for everything we lose, we find something new.

    Almost completed the new sculpture workshop, 220m above sea level in the silver birch fringed mountains behind lochness. Exciting projects in the pipeline for next year...and a new lurcher called, Marley dog, who mostly has 2 modes, running and sleeping. zzzz

    Some new unintentionalist bronzes in the gallery (credit for the unintentionalist art movment goes to Chris Gourley). So yes Unintentionlist art along side my explorations into AV/VJ sculpture, classic bronze work for other artists and Blobism. The new sculptures are direct welded work, using a dusty old mig with spiders living in it from the 80s I found in the workshop before I started renovating it. It didn't work initially but just needed a new plug, a clean, a bang on the top like an old telly...and some new Argon gas and bronze wire of course. I also used an angle grinder and a hand file, thats about it. The work is made from some splatters from the foundry floor, most are melted back down, some were found in the mud and midden pile outside, and some slag bronze scooped from the top of the cruicible before pouring.

    Like faces flickering in the fire.

    All the best to you for 2018, see you in the future, but for now, here is now.

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  • Ad Monstrum

    Inflatable.

    Needing to be filled with air or gas before you use it (Oxford English Dictionary, 2017)

    Monster.

    The word "monster" derives from Latin monstrum. (Ad Monstrum).

    The word usually connotes something wrong or evil; a monster is generally morally objectionable, physically or psychologically hideous, or a freak of nature. It can also be applied figuratively to a person with similar characteristics like a greedy person or a person who does horrible things.

    The root of monstrum is monere—which does not only mean to warn but also to instruct, and forms the basis of the modern English demonstrate. Thus, the monster is also a sign or instruction. This benign interpretation was proposed by Saint Augustine, who did not see the monster as inherently evil, but as part of the natural design of the world, a kind-of deliberate category error.

    A monstrum is a sign or portent that disrupts the natural order as evidence of divine displeasure. The word monstrum is usually assumed to derive, as Cicero says, from the verb monstro, "show" (compare English "demonstrate"), but according to Varro it comes from moneo, "warn." Because a sign must be startling or deviant to have an impact, monstrum came to mean "unnatural event" or "a malfunctioning of nature." Suetonius said that "a monstrum is contrary to nature <or exceeds the nature> we are familiar with, like a snake with feet or a bird with four wings." The Greek equivalent was teras. The English word "monster" derived from the negative sense of the word. Compare miraculum, ostentum, portentum, and prodigium.

    In one of the most famous uses of the word in Latin literature, the Augustan poet Horace calls Cleopatra a fatale monstrum, something deadly and outside normal human bounds. Cicero calls Catiline monstrum atque prodigium and uses the phrase several times to insult various objects of his attacks as depraved and beyond the human pale. For Seneca, the monstrum is, like tragedy, "a visual and horrific revelation of the truth." (Wikipedia, 2017)

    Monstra were an important category of prodigies. The word monstrum is etymologically related to monstrare, “to show”, and monere, “to admonish” (Festus Gloss. Lat. 122 L.; Serv. ad Aen. 2.681) (Wiley Library)

    I saw—with shut eyes, but acute mental vision—I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion. Frightful must it be, for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world.

    Taken from Mary Shelley’s Author’s Introduction to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein, this quote describes the vision that inspired the novel and the prototypes for Victor and the monster. Shelley’s image evokes some of the key themes, such as the utter unnaturalness of the monster (“an uneasy, half-vital motion”), the relationship between creator and created (“kneeling beside the thing he had put together”), and the dangerous consequences of misused knowledge (“supremely frightful would be the effect of . . . mock[ing] . . . the Creator”).

    Human beings are the only fire animals, with out gas and air there would be no fire.

    Monsters are guardians to boundaries of the unkown. They represent, us.

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  • New Sculpture at The Never Ending Glen, Kelburn Garden Party 2017

    A new sculpture just installed at Kelburn Garden Party 'The Never Ending Glen' art trail. Well it is actually an update or a V2 if you like of the sculpture 'A Summer in 2011' I made at Tin Roof artists collective in Dundee in the riotous summer of 2011. I've updated the mobile phone with a selfie stick. Sign of the times. This Never Ending Glen edition as part of the Kelburn Garden Party is titled 'A Concurrence of Causes'

    "All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions.

    Nothing ever exists entirely alone, everything is in relation to everything else".

    - Buddha

    (c2017. Cast Resin, bronze, acrylic paint, found wooden ladder and broken mobile phone with selfie stick)

    A meditation on figurative sculpture in our times.

    The self, the selfless and the ego.

    The figure is first sculpted in clay, then a silicone and rigid shell mould is made.

    Finally a resin casting of the clay original is worked from the mould to be combined with found objects and metal.

    Inflatablemonster studio.

    Scottish sculpture casting & metal sculpture.

    https://www.facebook.com/kelburnarts/videos/vb.117199671627938/1398805063467386/?type=2&theater

    https://www.kelburngardenparty.com/

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  • Edwin Muir - The Labyrinth

    Since I emerged that day from the labyrinth,

    Dazed with the tall and echoing passages,

    The swift recoils, so many I almost feared

    I’d meet myself returning at some smooth corner,

    Myself or my ghost, for all there was unreal

    After the straw ceased rustling and the bull

    Lay dead upon the straw and I remained,

    Blood-splashed, if dead or alive I could not tell

    In the twilight nothingness (I might have been

    A spirit seeking his body through the roads

    Of intricate Hades) – ever since I came out

    To the world, the still fields swift with flowers, the trees

    All bright with blossom, the little green hills, the sea,

    The sky and all in movement under it,

    Shepherds and flocks and birds and the young and old,

    (I stared in wonder at the young and the old,

    For in the maze time had not been with me;

    I had strayed, it seemed, past sun and season and change,

    Past rest and motion, for I could not tell

    At last if I moved or stayed; the maze itself

    Revolved around me on its hidden axis

    And swept me smoothly to its enemy,

    The lovely world) – since I came out that day,

    There have been times when I have heard my footsteps

    Still echoing in the maze, and all the roads

    That run through the noisy world, deceiving streets

    That meet and part and meet, and rooms that open

    Into each other – and never a final room –

    Stairways and corridors and antechambers

    That vacantly wait for some great audience,

    That smooth sea-tracks that open and close again,

    Tracks undiscoverable, undecipherable,

    Paths on the earth and tunnels underground,

    And bird-tracks in the air – all seemed apart

    Of the great labyrinth. And then I’d stumble

    In sudden blindness, hasten, almost run,

    As if the maze itself were after me.

    And soon must catch me up. But taking thought,

    I’d tell to myself, ʻYou need not hurry. This

    Is the firm good earth. All roads lie free before you’.

    But my bad spirit would sneer, ʻNo, do not hurry.

    No need to hurry. Haste and delay are equal

    In this one world, for there’s no exit, none,

    No place to come to, and you’ll end where you are,

    Deep in the centre of the endless maze’.

    I could not live if this were not illusion.

    It is a world, perhaps; but there’s another.

    For once in a dream or trance I saw the gods

    Each sitting on the top of his mountain-isle,

    While down below the little ships sailed by,

    Toy multitudes swarmed in the harbours, shepherds drove

    Their tiny flocks to the pastures, marriage feasts

    Went on below, small birthdays and holidays,

    Ploughing and harvesting and life and death,

    And all permissible, all acceptable,

    Clear and secure as in a limpid dream.

    But they, the gods, as large and bright as clouds,

    Conversed across the sounds in tranquil voices

    High in the sky above the untroubled sea,

    And their eternal dialogue was peace

    Where all these things were woven, and this our life

    Was a chord deep in that dialogue,

    As easy utterance of harmonious words,

    Spontaneous syllables bodying forth a world.

    That was the real world; I have touched it once,

    And now shall know it always. But the lie,

    The maze, the wild-wood waste of falsehood, roads

    That run and run and never reach an end,

    Embowered in error – I’d be prisoned there

    But that my soul has bird wings to fly free.

    Oh these deceits are strong almost as life.

    Last night I dreamt I was in the labyrinth,

    And woke far on. I did not know the place.

    ...I hear ya Edwin Muir.

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