|Cut Pod (handcut watercolour paper 150x84cms)|
At last a new work, five months in the making and on a more ambitious scale then my previous pieces. The idea was first conceived in September 2012 just as the summer was drawing to a close and the flowers were beginning to wither and reveal their autumn seed pods. What curious capsules of new life these varied pods are; they caught my imagination and I started to play around with the idea of The Pod.
As is usual in my creative practice this sculpture grew slowly and gradually, each layer succeeding the other more by intuition than design, the work growing organically. I wanted to create something vegetal but not floral. Above all I wanted to avoid the tweeness/cuteness of cut paper flowers and all the whimsical sentimentality they imply. For me nature is not sentimental or picturesque, it is rather the Kantian sublime, beautiful and terrifying. Seed pods often protect their precious cargo with spikes and thorns and I wanted to make reference to this aspect of nature. It is present too in that other source of inspiration for my work the microscopic imagery of cellular forms, particularly, in this case, images of bacteria and virus cells that are also, in their dark way, seed carriers.
Finally, in contrast to this beautiful, brittle spikiness I wanted to introduce a more sensual, sexual quality, think Venus Flytrap or Georgia O'Keefe paintings.