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Why are there so many more painters than sculptors?

In many ways it is an economic one. Painters may take a few days or weeks over a painting while with the sculptor it is a question of months or years with a very heavy outlay in materials, and far less chance of ultimate sales.

I have had many painters come to me and said they wished to do some sculpture. After working hard to make the form stand up or many days into a block of stone without much impression, they often abandoned the process completely!

Question: Why does other forms of art seem more popular than sculpture?

Answer: People may think they do not have the space to place a piece of sculpture. While it seems easy to imagine having room for another picture, it is often difficult for people to imagine the space for a sculpture or not try to find it.

Why is sculpture thought of as more difficult than other art forms?  

Intellectually it requires a far greater effort of concentration to visualize a work in 3 dimensions. There is also a finality in every movement. Especially in carving, it is absolute and impossible to rub out and begin again! The working with any of sculptural material from the outside in, or to the inside out, imposes a constant challenge.

Why isn’t there more understanding and critique of sculpture and it’s processes and materials?

With sculpture people have not formed their own standards. They may not have a set of visual acuity (for porportion, scale etc.) Comparatively there may be many with a more or less sound judgment in painting, whose opinions on sculpture are not of much worth. There are a variety of reasons for this. Lack of opportunity for study for exposure of a variety of sculpture beyond photographs or reproductions. 

Why did you become a sculptor?

I am often asked this question, and find the answer a story that is amusing. In young childhood, my mother’s work area smelled of turps and linseed oil.There were wonderful boxes of colour; tubes of oil paint and sticks of pastels. And there was “plastercen”. Amazing stuff that could be squeezed and pushed and made to stand up and be more interesting than flat things! Later at about eight or nine,I began to drag home blue clay from the river near my home.I made masks, small animals, strange forms of many shapes. At this age I also took up carving. Well, whittling, as I had a bad record with sharp things and was not allowed to use chisels. Around twelve or thirteen I thought I might be a dentist, as it appeared to involve both carving and modelling.

But as my teen years continued I had less attention on what might come of these interests. Then I had a major concussion from playing rugby in my final year in school. Two months in darkened room with no companionship except my own, I had what I think is called an “epiphany” or a moment of madness. I decided to go to Art School at Elam in Auckland and “see how I would go making sculpture”. It was an instinctive choice. But one that require I undertake a year of preliminary classes to assess my ability to enter art as my area study. Once accepted, I pursued a four years of classical training in sculpture, art history and fine arts. And that was the beginning of being a lifetime sculptor!

Make a piece of art yours.

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