Alongside my architectural work I have developed a body of figurative pieces looking at aspects our humanness and more specifically what it is to be truly human, set in the context of my own walk of faith. This has led to my involvement in the now well established Oxford Lent Concerts which use icons as part of a creative medley of music and writing each year. I've also had the privilege of helping curate a number of exhibitions in St Aldates Church in Oxford and a desire to engage in the conversation of faith and art remains of keen interest in my work.
Many of the figurative pieces focus on conveying aspects of the human character which tend to come to light when all else is stripped away - our vulnerability, brokenness, longing and compassion. TS Elliott said, ‘Human kind cannot bear much reality’, yet our true humanness and beauty lies in embracing these very characteristics. ‘Men of Breaking Hearts’ and ‘Man of Prayer’ came in part in response to my reading of Tozer’s ‘The Pursuit of God’; an incredible book which draws on how we engage with Christ, both in His sufferings and His joy. Both pieces depict men praying out of compassion, and are vigorously rendered to convey this sense of engagement with reality.
The immediacy and expression of work by Kathe Kollwitz, alongside writings by Simone Weil, John O'Donohue, Bruce Herman, and Brother Roger of Taize are ongoing reference points in this work.
It also includes a series of drawings from Victorian sculptures of angels and figures. I am attracted by their dramatic representation of the human form. They convey a profound beauty, but also for me a wonderful sense that, when all else is stripped back, whatever our circumstances, hope and grace remain.