A bit about me and my work. 
View of the outside section of my studio

Personal:

 

I was born in South Africa, the grandson of a professional artist and general oddball.  As a child I found clay deposits in the hills behind where we lived and made busts of people I had met.  This work was made for my interest only and the subjects seldom got to see their effigies, which was probably a blessing to my fragile childhood ego.

 

After stints as a diver in the Navy, computer programmer, sales, followed by marketing and then executive management, I opted for a "Sea Change"  (click here for more on this) and now live and work in the Byron Bay (click here for larger images) region of northern New South Wales (Northern Rivers) in Australia. 

 

Process:

Although I have had some formal training in art at school and college level, I find that I have learnt most from working with other sculptors, both Australian and international. 

 

I sculpt in many mediums using whatever material is appropriate to realising an idea.  My preferred medium for carving is stone, but on occasion I will also tackle images in wood.  From time to time I also construct forms using metal, concrete and pulped paper and occasionally I will use clay, or other modelling mediums. It could be argued, with a bit of tongue-in-cheek, that the difference between the two is that while modelling is construction, carving is deconstruction.  

 

When beginning a sculpture, the material chosen for the work has a significant influence on both the way the idea is developed and on its execution.   I enjoy the paradox of mindfully imposing a design on a material only to find it being altered by the spontaneous discovery of what occurs while I am working the material.  This dialogue between artist and material is crucial to defining the difference between an artist and a designer.  This process that allows for dynamic adjustment of the form as the creative process evolves reveals the soul and the 'fingerprint' of the artist in the artwork.  Without that, the work devolves into something else

 

The nature of form, space, energy and rhythms are key drivers in my work.  Although tending to the abstract, my work is usually starts with the human form. My work owes much to the guiding principles of Henry Moore, who is still, in my view, the master of modern sculptural form.

 

Surface textures are a key element in the final realisation of any sculptural work of mine.  This increases its tactile attraction, an important component of all three dimensional artwork.  When a viewer feels compelled to touch my work, I feel that my mandate as a sculptor has met with some measure of success. 

 

For a CV please click here.

 

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Copyright 2011 Allen Horstmanshof. All Rights reserved