"We all stand on the shoulders of giants. The greatest giant of all is nature."

The cave paintings in the Dordogne region of France have fascinated me since childhood. The iconic images of animals painted by humans thousands of years ago fill me with wonder and nostalgia. I believe that those early representations of bulls inspired me to what I do today. Far from being just paintings on a cave wall, they reveal the ability of those ancient artists to elegantly communicate and reflect upon the very existence of those creatures at that time. They appear to have been painted with respect and deep perception, not only regarding anatomical insight but also with a spiritual insight.

 

It is as if those early painters sought to capture the essence of particular animals in their drawings. A few simple lines and our minds can do the rest. This dreamlike conversation between ourselves and these symbolic representations of animals is where my art begins. My intention , not unlike those humans thousands of years ago, is to capture the essence of the bull through simplicity of line; its strength, power and beauty, but expressing that in sculpture through the medium of clay.

 

Vessels

 As a child I was always happy spending inordinate amounts of time beside water - on the banks of rivers or beside the sea, filling my senses with the sights and sounds around me. I became fascinated with the boats and birds that filled those reflective landscapes and was inspired by their design and beauty.  My Vessels and Arcum are symbolic representations of this world of water where birds and boats meet. 

 

The base section of each vessel is the shape of a water droplet. Although one can find references to boats, sails and waves, Vessels are mainly inspired by the graceful lines that many birds start to show during courtship rituals, where their chests are propelled forwards and their necks thrown back. They are also intended to embody anthropomorphic notions of pride that I would readily associate with some birds, for example swans and albatrosses. 

 

Arcum

Arcum moves further into the abstract and is concerned with freedom, human endeavour and a search for perfection. It draws on the purity and essence that I associate with birds and boats and draws inspiration from their hydrodynamic designs. 

The entire cross section of the piece takes the shape of a water droplet under tension. The profile and rear views then explore the sinuous forms of birds and boats. 

Arcum is a tribute to the beautiful designs that have evolved around these forms and a symbol of celebration to the unimaginable intelligence and engineering feats of nature and man.

Jonathan Page

Bulls