Various artists' statements
Eulogy, 2011Mostly in my work I try to imagine what could be or might be, but isn't. In doing this I am often struck by how restrained my own inventions are, when compared to the truly bizarre creatures that actually do exist. Within nature there are beings so strange that they would be difficult to accept if they were not actually real. The Blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) is one such miraculous aquatic creature. It lives in the deep seas south of Australia, and was relatively unknown to science until deep-sea fishing boats started pulling them up in the 1980s, victims of collateral damage resulting from crab trawling. In the short time since then they have been driven to the brink of extinction. Not deliberately, not because we wanted something from them, but basically by accident. I find it hard to imagine a 'save the blobfish' campaign. It is a marvellously uncharismatic creature, even its name is discouraging. It is certainly no Panda or Mountain Gorilla. However, despite all that, to me the blobfish is extraordinary. Its gelatenous body is almost the same density as sea water, making it perfectly adapted to the immense pressure of its bathic home. This sculpture is a celebration of the simple, gormless, wonderful existence of the blobfish. It is a eulogy for this particular specimen, supported in death by a very ordinary looking man. Perhaps he is one of the millions of ordinary people who neither know nor care much about the fate of the blobfish. Even so he seems genuinely moved by the fate of this unprepossessing fish. There is hope in that.
Litter, 2010The word 'litter' has two meanings in english. The first is a group of animals born at once to a single parent. The second is rubbish or trash left lying around. This work returns to one of my favourite themes, which is question of our responsibility to the creatures we create. My work rarely attempts to present the viewer with a definite answer to the great questions of our day. I believe it is up to the community to discuss and resolve these issues. However, I do have very clear views about some things. I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to anything that we might create, regardless of whether we judge it to be useful or successful or otherwise. I am also convinced of the intrinsic value of diversity. As far as I'm concerned, the more different creatures there are in the world the better it is.
The Observer, 2010A sense of unease is evident in The Observer, which presents a young boy, perched precariously atop an unbalanced stack of mass-produced chairs. The boy looks down on us, perhaps just watching or more likely judging us according to his own criteria. We cannot help but worry about the dubious stability of the edifice on top of which he has been placed, as it seems ready to collapse at any moment. The implications of this as a metaphor for the world we are building for our own children are clear.