PETER BAILEY

Born 1944 - North Wales

Educated at University of Wales & Bath Academy of Art

Full-time artist since 1969

LUNATIC CHILD;

THE FROG PRINCE MEETS HIS MATCH AT LAST (FIFI THE FROG PRINCESS)

 

Artist's Statement

In all my work, I have used ready-made material and found objects in varying degrees. I choose objects that connect with my imagination. This fascination derives from the fact that my chosen objects have had a previous existence or "past" and can be given a new one through sculptural processes, as the gypsy proclaimed with a harsh accent: "Things have a life of their own,...... its simply a matter of waking up their souls". (One Hundred Years' of Solitude - G.G.M).

With my bronze sculptures, such as "Lunatic Child" or "Frog Prince", the objet touve is usually (a piece of) natural (material); a stone/driftwood/cork/bone, etc. and usually discovered in a natural environment such as a beach or mountainside. Often they have taken on a unifying character through the stared experience of weathering, "sea change", and sometimes fire, and are further fused through the process of bronze casting and transformed into Miroesque 'personnages' of a parallel and darkly-humoured world to our own.

'Ulysses' Suite and other related works.

Unlike the bronzes, the objects used here are mostly man-made, and can range from sardine cans to Spanish dolls; 'pearl' beads to pill bottles; plastic toys to porcelain roses. They are purchased from car-boot sales, charity shops, or normal retail outlets (e.g. a toy shop). Imaginative processes again play a large part in their selection. I see them also as part of the sub-culture or folk art of 20th century society. They often contain a strong kitsch element and exhibit a more active energy than the found natural objects and carry stronger associative references. This energy has given my box works a boisterousness which I hope parallels the Dublin of "Ulysses". Although the objects used can be seen as everyday objects by "the man in the street", they are not used as such but are given a new context, and new poetic "identity" of metaphor and symbol. In responding to the Academic, Scientific and Artistic themes, the contents of the boxes elide into my own personal world. For example, Chemistry (of Joyce) via the notion of sexual chemistry becomes views on marriage in my world. Several autobiographical themes ran through all of the boxes, such as 'Dead lust' (punning of course on Daedelus) and dealing with ideas of diminishing "powers" after the age of fifty. To provide a further example, the Ariadne 'Thread' relates to the influence of women in my life from grandmothers to wives, lovers and friends.