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My Artistic Journey – Part 2

Immersing myself in tropical ocean ecology took me back to my roots, genetically and creatively…

In 2011, in order to devote more time to my major creative inspirations (nature and the ocean), I moved to Utila, Honduras and qualified as a SCUBA Dive Master, free-diver and kayak guide. The following year I moved to Grenada, in the southern Caribbean, from where my Mum’s side of the family originate. There I set up Conservation Kayak, an ecotourism business, providing guided kayak tours that focused on the beauty of nature, with a ‘conservation through education and appreciation’ ethos.

During my time in Central America and the Caribbean, I continued creating sculptures, using materials that I could access easily whilst in that part of the world, and I started the project, ‘Art from Rubbish’. The concept was driven by my ever-increasing concern for nature and my interest in the preservation of our environment. The project involved collecting ‘drift plastic’ (discarded plastic objects) from the beaches and the sea. I then created sculptural forms that were inspired by creatures that inhabit the ecosystems from which the ‘rubbish’ was collected.

In 2017, following the birth of my first child, I moved back to England to be closer to family and resume my sculpture practice in earnest. Upon my return, due to its natural beauty and sustainable quality, I went back to using the material that I first fell in love with, wood! I began creating pieces based on art forms in nature, sacred geometry and fractals. Also, at this point, due to the developments in technology, I started incorporating internal, smart control systems in my sculptures. This enables interaction via an app, allowing the selection of colours, programming of sequences and an almost infinite variety of lighting effects. The pieces can be integrated into smart home systems and have internal microphones, which transform the sound that is sensed into synchronised audio-visual displays.

In 2019, whilst working as Production Manager at ‘London Bronze Casting’, a top contemporary sculpture foundry, I discovered the magical eco-resin, ‘Jesmonite’. This discovery enabled me to produce sculptures using traditional woodworking techniques, then make a mould of the original wooden pattern and cast multiple editions. Using this method has meant that I can create more intricate pieces, without spending the hundreds of hours which would have previously made the time and costs involved prohibitive. Jesmonite is durable and sustainable, with an organic stone-like finish, which is fitting, as a lot of my work is influenced by the sacred geometry of ancient architecture. Jesmonite can create a more vibrant complement to the sculptures’ lighting elements, since the consistent, white finish facilitates the projection and reflection of coloured light in its most intense manner.

This brings me to where I am today, with a keen interest in, not only the aesthetics of my sculptures, but also their therapeutic value and sustainable creation. (A research study was recently carried out to prove the therapeutic benefits of my sound responsive light sculpture, Essence, but more on that in another blog post – Here).

The basis for my current range of sculptures is entirely wood. It seems that these new pieces represent the completion of a cycle in my creative process, returning to my woodworking roots, but with an evolved knowhow and skillset. This has led to an interesting next step in my artistic evolution.

Thank you for reading My Artistic Journey – Part 2…

Stay tuned to see where my Futuretro journey takes me next…

Jamie – FUTURETRO
June 2022