This project started for me as a boy with a fascination for insects - beetles, butterflies and ants. Observing their behaviour and habitat created a powerful understanding and respect for all forms of life that we are privileged to share our planet.
Later in life as a painter and sculptor, I expressed my passions by capturing the forces of nature though thick and dramatic oils and the essence of animals through my bronze sculptures.
With an interest in all things natural in and around us, I became engaged with the importance of sustainability and wanted to make an impact and difference through public messaging via my art forms. This endeavour meant that my viewpoint and skills had to broaden and deepen to go beyond simply a single animal in bronze.
Working on two self-started projects, has led me to what I believe to be my ultimate challenge and expression of me as a person, and the opportunity to share the plight of the diminishing life on our planet.
Celebration of Life is my personal creation to educate, inform and delight those who experience the piece and who respect nature and all it has to give.
The concept formed quickly in my mind as a monumental piece of carbon rock forced out of the earth’s crust with dramatic noise and energy. On it and within it there are many lifeforms that have inhabited our world and some that are here today, including man. From the minuscule leaf-cutter ant to the magnificent blue whale, a wide variety of fauna and flora embellish this shard of carbon.
The focal point of the piece is a young chimp sitting eating termites from a stick that she has learnt to use as a tool, extracting protein rich treats from a labyrinth of holes in the ground. Lying outstretched next to her is man who is observing her habits, gesturing to us. This is a familiar image to millions of people around the world who have enjoyed for over sixty years, the visual narration of Sir David Attenborough.
As you experience the Celebration of Life you discover new plants, animals and insects you may have missed at first glance. This intrigue is deliberate on my part, I want you to keep looking, keep exploring and keep discovering. It’s a journey that is both enriching and educational. Each species have been selected on their unique stories as well as their ecological and evolutionary significance.
Within the structure there are subtle messages such as the seam of DNA that snakes through the rock and a tiny Darwin’s Finch perched on David’s shoulder whispering something in his ear.
The balance of birds, mammals, fish, plants and fossils are all carefully mapped out with their own story and latin names to help educate people today and the generations to come.