For years I resisted the impulse to sculpt – I already danced, wrote and sang; I chase too many art forms as it is. But then one free afternoon at Jody Pawley’s Sydney Sculpture School I yielded, and the first result was rhythmic attitude #1.
This is the original maquette; there is now a bronze version of this work available for viewing at the Art Asylum. Then one Easter Al gave me a Hebel block, and lost me for a week while I whittled obsessively. The result nestles in his garden.
For a while I messed around with this pair of gymnasts:
But then, inspired by a beautiful slab of Art Deco granite I was offered as a base, I began work on Fireflier.
Producing bronzes is time-consuming and very expensive; the mould making process is complex and casting can only be done by qualified professionals in a foundry. But Fireflier was completed in time for my first exhibition in November 2018, and – by a freakish quirk of fate – sold over the internet after a casual mention. She is now in the collection of Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman.
Meanwhile Al gave me another Hebel block and asked for a seahorse. I walked once around the block and told him he could have two.
But as world events turned further and further toward conflict and catastrophe, I began to feel that sculpture, much as I love it, was a diversion from what I should really be doing. I have a philosophy degree and a long history of research in thorny and contentious areas, and I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to do what mattered, and what I knew I could do – make people think. In due course and by a roundabout path, that led to the creation of Philosophilia, but in the meantime I had (and have) to pay the rent, and occasional sculpture commissions help do that.