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My Artistic Journey – Part 1

I remember the smell of the freshly cut wood, the light covering of sawdust on the floor and all the amazing machinery, that I thought of as friendly robots, ever-ready to help you make something. As soon as I could walk, I always loved visiting my Grandad’s workshop…

I began my journey on this planet in London in 1978. From before I can remember, creativity has always been my main interest and I began expressing myself through drawing and painting from a very early age. During my childhood I was inspired by my Grandad, who was a master cabinet maker. Through that early influence, my intrigue of moving my creations into three-dimensions and the need to make objects that had a greater feeling of permanence, I was compelled to start cutting, sanding and joining wood. I began with relatively simple objects, like elaborate mirror frames, then moved to making coffee tables. I always had the calling to take what I made further… Further from the ‘norm’, further from the constraints of past conditioning, endeavouring to create something that no one had ever seen before.

Nature has always been the biggest inspiration for my work, and I endeavour to encapsulate my love for its beauty as I handcraft each piece, whilst aiming to push the boundaries of my creative capabilities.

In 1996 I attended, what was then known as Surrey Institute of Art and Design (SIAD), now called University for the Creative Arts (UCA), where I specialised in 3D Design and Fine Art. That experience gave me opportunities to experiment with a wide variety of mediums and processes, allowing me to further evolve the expression of my creative visions.

I developed my artistic methods of making experimental furniture and sculptures using a variety of materials, with wood being my resounding favourite. In order to add a more diverse dynamic to my work, I started integrating lighting and electronics to enable direct interaction with the pieces using an array of technologies. It occurred to me that by adding light, it allowed me to bring another dimension to what I was making.

In my early twenties I discovered acrylic sheet and commenced a new chapter of artistic experimentation. I began creating sculptures consisting of nature-inspired, geometric forms, utilising the vibrant aesthetics of the material combined with various reactive light sources. This new medium required similar skills and tools to that needed for wood, albeit with some adaptions and refinements. That is when I realised that I could take what I was making to another level and create objects that were closer in vibrancy to the patterns and forms that I envisioned.

Then, through my increasing interest in electronics and music, I began adding more evolved electric elements that enabled my sculptures to ‘do more’ and allow direct interaction with the people experiencing them. As such, I started to incorporate responsive electronics and lighting into my work to create visual representations of sound. My aim was to take the enjoyment of music to a new level, where you can see it, as well as hear it, endeavouring to create an ‘Optical Orchestra’.

Due to my growing concern for the wellbeing of nature, I evolved my form of acrylic artistic expression in order to account for its environmental impact, by starting to upcycle and heat-sculpt discarded offcuts of acrylic. This technique allowed me to create fluid, organic compositions that represented my perception of nature’s energy, whilst minimising the detriment such materials have on the environment.

To see examples of my acrylic light sculptures… Please Click Here.

Between the years 2000 to 2010, I undertook sculpture commissions in the UK, India and Japan and in 2010 was awarded the title of ‘Surrey Artist of the Year’.

Thank you for reading my Artistic Journey – Part 1…

Continued in my next blog post

Jamie – FUTURETRO
June 2022