Monday, November 19, 2012

''Sun Temple in the Andes''

''Sun Temple in the Andes''


Pink Limestone - France
Blue Limestone - Ireland
Gold Leaf

6ft 6in High x 6in x 4in     { 2m x 0.18m x 0.12m }
Base 11in x 10in   { 0.30m x 0.25m }

Private Collection, Ireland.


The Story ...

              ''Sun Temple in the Andes'' is a sculpture that was entirely inspired by the stone and it's colouring and one of those sculptures that 'makes' itself and therefore lets my mind free in peace to enjoy the experience of carving the stone.

              This piece of French Limestone came away from a bigger block because of the dark red deposit that was trapped when the stone was being 'born' into nature. Limestone is a sedimentary stone composed largely of deposits of the minerals calcite and aragonite and these are a crystal form of calcium carbonate that are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms and other form of animal life that were trapped when the stone was being formed. Often when I was carving limestone I could smell the 'sea', gases that were locked into the stone millions of years ago and only released when I cut the stone. I always felt 'good' when I smelled the gases, it was as if nature was bringing me back in time ...  
which it was.

Twelve sided stone of Cusco 

           Incorporated into my sculpture and carved at the bottom 

and symbolic of what the Inca culture was built on I included 
the Twelve sided stone of Cusco which was the historic site of the Inca empire. The Inca can be traced back 1200 A.D. The empire began it's rapid expansion in the late 1430's and would dominate South America for the next century. When the Inca were at their height of  it's power the Spanish arrived into Aztec lands further north, bringing with them smallpox that would sweep through the Inca lands before the Spanish had even stepped onto Inca soil. 

           Inca stonework for me is one of the 'wonders of the world'. To see these stones close up was incredible that I was lost for words and can only say inspired me in my future work in the stone. They are massive in size and weight some up to twenty tons and more. Fitted together with no type of mortar that most stones have survived earthquakes to this present day.  

            The top part of the sculpture is my interpretation of a doorway into a temple where the sun was worshiped for it's energy and power as the giver of life. At the foot of the temple I carved terraces's into the stone symbolic of Machu Picchu, 
built around 1450 and referred to as 'City of the Incas'. 
It's where I think I would find a 
''Sun Temple in the Andes'.


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Thursday, November 01, 2012

'Spirit of a Condor'


White Marble - Italy
Blue Limestone - Ireland
Black Granite - South Africa

2ft4in x 8in x 5ft6in high
0.68m x 0.25m x 1.68m 

Private Collection Ireland

         The Story ...
                                When I was in my time of making abstract sculpture and working in stone a strong feeling passed through me one day and left me in no doubt that my time in working 
the stone was coming to an end and when I tried to go
against it thoughts of having an accident with the machines
or a stone falling on me were always with me from that day on. Each day that you carve stone is a day when something could happen as an accident but I never thought about that because when you are in the state of creativity there is no
room for fear or doubts of any kind.
                                                     Now before this happened I had no fear that something would happen to me while working the stones and this is coming from one who worked with no guards on the angle grinders I used for cutting the stone, in fact,
total disregard for safety to myself so much so that at times I worked in my bare feet always with no mask and weather permitting sunglasses as goggles because I felt and still do 
that I was doing what I was born to do and nothing was going
to happen to me and for nearly 25 years I worked like this
with no accidents to myself from the machines.
                                                     My reason for telling you this is, in the year 2004 made a sculpture from off-cuts of other stones I was working on at the time I had this 'change' come over me about my 'future' as an artist in stone. No thought was given
in the making of this sculpture and I believe like all good art comes straight from the subconscious mind where it is already 'made' and I was just the means to bring it into reality. 
The title I gave this sculpture ... 'Spirit of a Condor'.

                                                    I remember ... this sculpture was made and finished in three days and during the time of
working the stone I was in a 'bliss' state of mind that I felt I
was the Condor in flight over the landscape like a feather on the wind and consider this work today to be one of my best sculptures in stone and at the time of making it I also felt that I would find it hard to better it in my future work with the stone.

                                                 Now two things happened here, the first was that a 'contentment' had been reached in myself and my work that, in future works in the stone my mind would always relate to and try to recreate the 'feelings' I had in making 'Spirit of a Condor' ... and as an artist this is not good for creativity in fact, it could put up a mental block which would also bring on anxieties about the work and that would affect me creatively in the working of the stone ... 
and at this point of the story you have to remember my
'attention' for 'safety' standers.

                                               The second was ... ''Was it all coming to an end'' ... I was Lucky in the time while I was working with the stones. I got to travel the world on invitation and leave my sculptures in public places from Kazakhstan,
when it was still a communist country and under the hand of Russia to South America and across Europe and into Asia,
 including some big [very big] stone sculptures in Ireland, in total, 21 public sculptures ... and why do I think I was Lucky,
as an artist I am self thought and 'free' from any 'teaching' directly and that to me makes for me to be my own 'artist',
at least I was not copying the 'style' of some teacher and
maybe never finding what I might be capable of doing on my own. I always worked with no help from others, because I believe it has to be my 'energy' going into my sculpture.

                                                 Roughed out my own blocks, carved and finished ... nobody can take this satisfaction away from me and what does it in-tale ... a selfish {which very few could understand} 100% dedication to my art and a driven need to create from a material that is millions of years old before I changed it's form and gave it a new life and so
I have great respect for the artists who carve the stone as 
'direct carvers', working with the stone and sometimes
only the impression of an idea for a sculpture and the
sculptors from the past who have left works that 'talk' to me. 

                                                     In July 2006 my stone carving came to an end as if it never happened, and I have not cut
stone since though I miss it at times ... but now another door
has opened for me in this stage of my 'creativity-journey'
and I now work in a 10ft x10ft space with a small window
which I call 'The Pigeon Hole' and teaching myself to
work the local ball-clay into life-size figures in a very realistic  
and symbolist 'style' ...
no machines no models and no sunglasses ...
but still in my bare feet.

'Spirit of a Condor' at night.

Visit the Video

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'Spirit of a Condor' by DAF is licensed under a
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