donderdag 22 augustus 2013

Fictional fossils

I have been making fictional fossils for some time now. It all started when I wanted to make my imagination around the GoGo bird real. I decided that things become real by making them look real but also by fixing them in time and history. Especially in history far before I was born. So the first GoGo fossil arrived some time back:

I made a couple of them and got occupied with other stuff until the beginning of this year when I decided that this concept was to good to leave and started making bigger fictional fossils, like the Wile E Coyote fossil:

Off course Wile E Coyote isn't my own imagination, but that of someone else. So this is very much a pop art sculpture in a very unusual way. It doesn't look like a Lichtenstein or Warhol by far, so it is a very new way of using popular culture.
My GoGo bird isn't part of popular culture .....yet, although it is a crossover between the extinct Dodo and Roadrunner. In my last big fossil my GoGo bird reappeared, but I wanted to do something different and decided to add another bit to the story. So the GoGo was developed by Dr. Freakinstyle to make the Dodo run faster and preventing it to become extinct. But off course even the Roadrunner had predators like Wile E Coyote chasing it and so must have the GoGo. I decided to create a scene in which both appeared and in the same time show a new creature as a fossil without having it as a sculpture 'in flesh'. Normally I translate, which is an interesting process, the fictional character into a anatomically correct fossil. This isn't easy and sometimes pushes you to create something slightly unrealistic or even a bit inconsistent. So this was what I cam up with: 

In it you see that the predator, which is a cyclops, drags a GoGo bird with him. This however doesn't mean the predator is very successful, it is just a frozen moment in time. And then I read the newspaper a week ago and found this article in which two rivals where together in a battle when they both died and got fossilised: 

I'll post in in a bigger size on my Facebook fanpage:

I just love fossils and enjoy the skills to make them!

zondag 18 augustus 2013


I sometimes look back where I came from, because I have come from far to arrive where I am today. That is being an artist. I am still not comfortable with defining myself like that. I never REALLY decided to become one. I just wanted to make cool sculptures and work part time and see what happened.

But I come from far as in, not from the UK and not from an art background in every sense. So I needed to get used to a different language and culture, although the last thing was probably the easiest. I also needed to learn EVERYTHING there is to learn about art.

So a couple of years down the road and I get the feeling people take me serious when it comes to making art and I can say again that I have pretty much learned a new profession AGAIN! Yes, I have done that a couple of times before. This gives me the feeling I can almost do anything without any experience, that I can take on the world with a lot of skills and the most important one being' to be able to adapt and learn, learn, learn...
Yet, the more I seem to get confident in everything, the less chance I seem to have of actually getting a job. So I am know pushed in doing this full time. I still can't believe that people won't hire me. It sounds a bit arrogant, but I would be a better than average employee and it frustrates me to see people 'working' and actually doing a crap job.

I have had a lot of practice saying; 'I am an artist and I make sculptures'. I guess not having a job, there is no doubt that this would be the way to describe me. Describe me? Huh? Yes, it seems that whatever you do, it is THE thing to ask to get to know somebody, but I think in my case they would mis something, because I am just as much a sport enthusiast. Ok, it now feels a bit strange to say 'I am an athlete'.

Ok ok ok, I am an artist.....

zondag 4 augustus 2013

Painter William Ralph Turner

I feel I have a couple of connections with this painter; William Ralph Turner. No, he is not the Turner that most people of you know. He is the William Turner that lived in the same era and place as L.S. Lowry. They knew each other and often painted similar subjects. He recently died and I am glad he got the recognition he deserves, although he was already more than 80 years old.

Here is a link:

Why I feel this connection? Well, he is a self taught artist. His teacher actually advised him not to go to art school, because of lack of talent. I am self taught as well.
Just like him, I live and started my art in the North West of the UK. Also, just like him I like cycling.

I just hope I get the recognition earlier than him, but he did get it while still breathing and making art and eventually see his work being sold for 5-figure sums! That would be amazing to experience!

vrijdag 2 augustus 2013

How I view death

This seems to be an odd topic for having some spells of glorious weather and Autumn and Winter feeling far in Dias de los Muertos and Halloween. So why now? Well, I have been thinking a lot about death, but only related to my art, because I am planning some new skull sculptures. I thinking of making a very weird and whacky sculpture out of a skull and that sometimes make me think wether people get it or find it disrespectful for the animal. So I need to explain myself.

I have done a couple of exhibitions and fairs and often people are surprised about the weird and whacky way I use bones and skulls. Material that once was part of a living animal and its soul. A lot of people are surprised for probably two reasons:
1. Thinking it might be a bit dirty or disgusting to use a bone and touch it. Is it clean?
2. To make something completely disconnected to death and the suffering of the animal, almost as if it didn't exist, almost as if this is just another ordinary countryside source of material to use in art.

I now understand that. I understand the first reason pretty well, but I have been driven more by curiosity than fear. I use gloves, clean them and often only pick them up when all flesh is gone.
The second reason gives me a lot to think about. I understand rationally why people might think that, but when I started making sculptures out of bones and skulls, I was completely unaware of that. I think For me it feels like a similar way of dealing with the dead like the Mexicans do during the celebrations of The Day of the Dead.

You can mourn in darkness, but for not having known the animal, I don't have an honest connection and so can't mourn. In that case I can only remember and for remembering I like to think about positive things and I think humour and colour is the way to remember positivity. 
This style also gives me the tools to build a bridge to people that normally disconnect from the bones and death because of its horrible and disgusting outcome. 

So every time you see my work, I hope you don't think it is disrespectful, it is my way to show the beauty of nature and how much I respect it.