Somebody very famous is quoted as saying …bronze is not really a material on its own, as it were. It’s a casting material. It’s a reproductive material for any ideas you like to have. You never make an idea in bronze itself. You don’t take a piece of solid bronze and bend or model it. You cast it. You make it in something else and cast it into bronze…
It could not be further from my belief.
I think in bronze from the start and making patterns for casting is simply a tool and a step along the path to the finished bronze object. The work does not exist or have physical presence until it appears in bronze,
I specialise in sand casting which is very different from the lost wax method used by most art foundries. It produces a solid material which is restrictive, but at the same time enriching.
I use bronze just as any other material and celebrate it as a material in its own right. To be cut, sanded, shaped, bent, welded, forged.
Bronze is eternal, the material will last for millennia. Solid bronze can be repaired or altered, just as wood or stone, but it does not crack or break and changes only very slowly.
The material is endlessly receptive to oxidisation, producing a wide range of textures and colours. It also takes paint well for a range of colours not available purely by patination.
Polishing produces a smooth, gleaming, reflective, subtle surface, exemplifying the sublime quality and essential beauty of the material.
A selection of Philip’s internal and garden sculpture will be available at the Summer Exhibition from Thursday 14thJune.