Sand Cast Bronze Sculptures
Article originally published in Superyacht
Philip Hearsey tells about himself...
I make sculpture and think about it most of the time. I do not engage in theories but have an instinctive urge to progress at my own thoughtful pace and actually make things.
I specialise in sand casting bronze which I discovered many years ago looking for drawer handles on a cabinet which I had designed. The process directs simplicity and is itself simple. The bonus is immediacy. The casting, although solid bronze is not yet a sculpture but a material that can be cut, carved, ground or welded, not unlike the timbers that dominated my life for so long.
Sculptures, physical objects, result from seeing, thinking and feeling, translated through making, instinct and touch. The pattern and sand-casting are essentially important and whilst they may embody the basic form they are just the first step in a long process and are capable of many changes before refining, patinating, polishing and finishing the bronze to achieve the desired outcome.
Whenever possible I prefer to work outdoors. Beyond having open space and the practical considerations there is an overwhelming and direct connection with nature. Although I am still the wind blows, clouds move across the sky, rain falls, the sun shines and the landscape that surrounds me is constantly changing.
But when walking I move through the landscape and experience the duality of distance and closeness. The river flows, grasses move, trees make patterns, there are endless tiny events. Away from my desk or my workbench, the time to absorb and reflect is stimulating and precious.
Out of doors is when I feel most connected and my work is influenced by the experience of being in a landscape rather than being inspired by looking at the beautiful views that abound in this border area of Herefordshire where I live and work.
My work is instinctive. I visualize what I am going to make. Sometimes I make a quick sketch but mostly I have an idea in my head, often sparked by something I have seen, and I prefer to sort things out as I go. I turn this into a 3-dimensional reality through the process of making, thinking, looking, touching, altering, refining, patinating, polishing, gilding, colour washing and finishing until I have achieved something that usually bears some relationship with what was in my mind at the outset.
Feelings and instinct motivate my visual work, often rhythmical and surprisingly tactile.
Every sculpture is individual and each is signed and uniquely numbered. More than one may be made from the same pattern but they are handmade and there is always a difference in patination and character. Each has its own flaws and imperfections that are celebrated and add a profound beauty. Chance and unexpected accidents play a big part. No two, purposely, are ever the same.
I am in control of what I make - no one tells me what to do. Of course, once completed I want to get the work out into the world and find it a new home. I make work that embodies simple universal forms that everybody can relate to.
What is in my head when I make work is very private and every piece has a meaning that is completely personal. I choose names with care and a certain ambiguity – they are not intended to be prescriptive but to leave room for a spectator's own interpretation and to add their own story.
When a work leaves my studio it takes on a different life and the collector will convey his or her own relevance and energy to take full ownership and form a new bond with the sculpture.
My sculpture is domestic in scale and intended for the interiors of homes, offices, hotels and yachts. I undertake commissions on request. My full exhibiting history is shown on my website and galleries where my work can be seen are listed.
Work is held in corporate and private collections in the UK, USA, Australia, Caribbean, Hong Kong, Singapore, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, France, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Italy and Greece.