My working practice concentrates on sculpture, installation and public art. I work with many materials especially metals creating high quality sculpture for both indoor and landscape settings.
I am interested in the human condition and explore the boundaries between science, religion, art and the natural world. I explore spirituality, inter-faith dialogue and pluralism. Analogies and metaphors from science, philosophy and theology are visible in many works. Patterns – patterns found in nature, journeys, symbolism, biology are often reworked.
My work encompasses abstract and contemporary figurative work with the overriding aesthetic being minimal, emphasising the form with strong lines. I create contemplative work, hopefully providing a moment to reflect in a busy world. Presence sometimes being represented by absence, memory by a trace, stillness by form. Light is an integral element in the manner with which it interacts with the works, reflecting and responding to the form.
There are two main conceptual elements that are integral to the aesthetic of my work. Negative space and reduction. Negative space refers to the spaces between the elements, the concept of ‘Ma’ from Japan – roughly translated as ‘gap’, ‘space’, ‘pause’ or ‘the space between two structural parts’. This spatial concept is experienced as a consciousness of place, not in the sense of an enclosed three-dimensional entity, but rather the simultaneous awareness of form and non-form deriving from an intensification of vision. Reduction is about embracing a minimalist aesthetic (‘Shibui’ – simple and subtle), avoiding the superfluous and hence reducing the work to the essence with out compromising content. The combination of these two concepts shape my work.
There is another distinctive element which is elegance. In Japan this is called ‘Miyabi’ (elegance). Miyabi is often translated “heartbreaker”. For me it is about the potential of art to elevate the soul and elicit a profound emotional response.
My recent body of work examines traditional Islamic art, exploring the geometries of pattern-interpreting these designs in contemporary sculptural form transcending traditional boundaries. Within Islamic art, abstraction was chosen to represent the ‘absolute’, to embody Unity. Geometry was seen to connect the material world with the spiritual world. The resonance of their patterns lies within balance and proportion, with the parts being in a strict relation to each other and to the wider whole. It is this inner logic of proportions that I retain and as I rework sculpturally, keeping true to the original motifs.
My sensitive reworking of these designs, respects the rich heritage of Islamic art, as I extrapolate the designs by unfolding number into space to form innovative three dimensional form, with elements of the original motif informing the resulting sculpture. I explore the symmetries of space with the sculptures evolving with their own defined visual language and a strong sense identity. The bold forms are minimal whilst the surfaces dance with the leitmotif, as the pattern recurs like a short musical phrase, mirrored along folds in the steel. The resulting sculptures create new patterning and context where boundaries are pushed to challenge perceptions and reveal new meanings.
Thus my work combines the Western artistic canon with that of the East, combining minimalism with geometric abstraction. Today we encounter many prejudices between cultures and I hope my art can offer bridges and in a small way enhance cooperation and understanding between East and West. I am currently contributing design elements to a new mosque in Bristol.
I exhibit regularly and have work in several collections here in the UK and overseas. Experimentation is also central to my practice both with new sculptural forms but also exploring new techniques and materials.
I have undertaken many public art commissions where I create site specific work. Public artworks have been produced for various locations including hospitals, health centres, libraries, schools, and cycle paths and these projects have often involved significant community participation and consultation. Throughout my practice I have collaborated with a variety of professionals, form commissioners, architects, town planners to scientists, theologians and doctors and work closely with several engineers and fabricators.
Sculpture is a real passion. I believe creativity to be essential for everyone, for both maker and receiver. Art has the potential to elevate the soul and transcend the everyday.
This website is dedicated to my dad, Bob Moorhouse who inspired me both with his own sculptures and his passion for visiting galleries and sculpture parks. I would also like to acknowledge the infectious enthusiasm and rigorous critique of my sculptor tutor, Sally Aplin at the School of Art and Design, Bristol. Some of my father’s works:
And who do I like….. I love all the sculpture of Julio Gonzalez who worked as Picasso’s assistant but who was a real talent in his own right