I have been creating and building objects and imagery all my life - what for?

Quite simply - I just get an incredible buzz when I see for the first time, something that hadn't previously existed. I also find sometimes, that what I have produced has been like talking to myself - I see something in the "creation" that I have been trying to understand or "make sense of"!

And so because what I create is from my own initiated "drive" (as opposed to having been commissioned) means it really is a part of me - or my ideas - you are looking at. Read more here.

I have worked with many types of media: painting, sculpting with glass, metals and clay, and of course (those familiar with my work will know) a major part was photography and photographic experimentation. However, as we entered the 3rd Millennium I began to experiment with some of the latest technology available for my newest creations, using a form of "3D virtual sculpting" which is outputted as digital imagery.

What sort of "art" is 3D virtual sculpture - is it "art"?

I have yet to meet a person who can truly define "ART" - I won't even attempt to - but I have my own ideas. Art is a strange business, because it encompasses so many techniques, types of media, presentation and a multitude of interacting influences. Because of this, descriptions and explanations of what a piece of art "is", "means", or meant to convey, is to me largely irrelevant, the question should be - "what is it that attracts us to (or repels us from) a piece of work?"

For example, if our eye is drawn to an attractive picture of a street scene painted in oils - and it is probably just that, "A street scene painted in oils" - then as such, we could easily decide whether it is one that we would like to have on our own wall. In making this type of decision, we would use such criteria as: skills of the artist, the composition, the use of colour, the size - and obviously the cost. BUT, if before we first looked at the image, we were told that the artist had painted it whilst mentally deranged and it was the last piece of work he ever produced before leaving for Tibet to become a Buddhist monk - could we ever look at that piece of work and see it as just a "picture"?

Titling/naming of my work.

The titling (description) of a piece of my work is an extremely important and integral part of it for me, (including when a work is purposely left "untitled") as it gives another, totally different dimension to that which is otherwise purely visual. I liken it to the naming of a child or even the name you might give to your first old banger car - its name sticks with it forever.

However, the way I find the "description" of what I've created is - to say the least - erratic. I often leave a work untitled for months after it is completed; and then at other times I "feel" the description of the work soon after I begin.

A quick explanation of what I mean by 3D virtual sculpting and digitally created imagery.

This means that I actually create and build the imagery "digitally". This is a completely different thing to say - painting and drawing an image in the conventional way and then scanning it to convert it into a digital image, from which it can be printed. Or alternatively, taking a digital photograph of a physical 3D sculpture, thereby converting it into the type of 2D imagery I used to produce photographically - neither is it an image-editing programme, which most people with a digital camera will have experimented with.

A 3D programme is one with which you have only a "Blank Canvas" although in reality it is an "Empty Virtual 3D Studio" and the freedom to truly create images "from scratch". There are a number of 3D programmes on the market, but my main tool of choice at the moment is one called 3d Studio MAX, which I discovered about five years ago - and for these last five years, I have to say, I have been consumed with it - there are truly infinite possibilities to be explored.

However, although most people will be unfamiliar with this type of programme, they will be familiar with its creations - it is normally used by artists for 3D modelling and animation in the film and TV industries - used in films like Toy Story, SHREK and The MATRIX. However, I have found it to be the perfect progression for me, after all the work I have produced using "real" sculpture and photography. The only difference is that now I am working inside a "virtual" studio, containing virtual materials, virtual lighting and virtual cameras. (See information/work sheets)

What is the finished, framed artwork?

This to me, is the weirdest twist to all of this - I CREATE A VIRTUAL IMAGE, but then the Giclée prints I produce from it are actually ORIGINALS (because of course, the image doesn't exist in any other form) which is the opposite of a conventional Giclée print, which is usually scanned from an "original" and then REPRODUCED.

What are the advantages and potential in this new form of artwork?

Now imagine what a big plus this is, to have actually created the image using this level of technology. Because each print is individually, digitally printed, and because the image exists as true 3D objects in my "film-set", I can create a printed image different every time if I want to, (just like "stills" from the aforementioned SHREK) - viewed from any angle, any viewpoint (above, below or distance), with any colour texture or scale etc etc. In other words anyone can own a "One Off Original", to his or her own specifications.

For example, a client who wants something special - maybe a company would like to have "a specific corporate logo" embedded into the image file, or a person's "name or birthday" could be discretely hidden, so that only when the image is closely studied with a magnifying glass it can be seen. In fact any idea is possible - as usual, only limited by imagination.

15.6.05 - will be updated when I remember