I have always lived by the sea. The coastal environment is a rich visual resource that one can draw upon. Surfing as an activity gives me very particular experiences and insights. The way the waves are like transitional, fluid sculptures that harness such energy and are at times so seductive and sensual, at others seemingly soulless and cruel. The work Spirit level is a response to the metamorphosis of the shoreline, ravaged by storms that expose previously unseen rock formations, creating gaps and voids in the process. All these forces act under the apparent pressure of the horizon.
Over the years I have responded to certain shapes. Usually one form becomes the essential shape to start the interplay with other volumes. During the interplay with volumes comes a moment when the materials employed are effectively transcended. My work is not merely made out of steel, wood, polished and textured surfaces, it is made of relations between its component parts creating such an exchange.
Steel shapes can take on a softness cancelling its gravity; a timber component can become very dense and heavy in appearance. This transcendence is on two levels: one exploring the mechanics of sculpture, the other exploring the concept.
Nigel Harrison, December 2002