DEEP WATERS VIII – Ref PH005: Bronze on a honed granite base. Stamped with monogram signature and numbered 252D on base of bronze (concealed by granite base). Unique. The edges in natural bronze are finely rubbed and lacquered which prevents air reaching the bronze and causing natural darkening. The honed granite base can be easily removed and the vessel form stands well on its own. £1850
MAALISIMO – Ref PH006: Bronze on a yew base. Stamped with monogram signature and numbered 443G on back of bronze. Series of individual variations. The edges in natural bronze are finely rubbed and lacquered which prevents air reaching the bronze and causing natural darkening. £975
SUMMER WIND IV – Ref PH007: Bronze on an oak base. Stamped with monogram signature and numbered 505 on back of bronze. Unique. The edges in natural bronze are finely rubbed and lacquered which prevents air reaching the bronze and causing natural darkening. The rear edge has a feint translucent brown treatment which mimics natural darkening of the bronze. £875
These beautiful and brilliantly executed sculptures are in the artist’s studio. Advice on sizes and costs is available on request from Elysium Gallery.
Philip Hearsey Profile
I challenge the idea that bronze is simply a reproductive material because I use the sand-casting process to create vessel forms and sculptures that engage the qualities of bronze as a noble material in its own right.
Casting in sand moulds is an ancient method far removed from the sophisticated lost wax operation used by most art foundries. The sand-casting process is relentless and unforgiving – the jobbing foundry is no place for a delicate original. It is also very restrictive and denying complexity of form imposes a simplicity that is both disciplinary and enriching.
Quick sketches may embody an idea but it is developed in the round. The work does not exist or have any physical entity before it is born in bronze. Up to then it is simply a casting pattern, a tool to be used in imagining the idea into a 3-dimensional bronze reality. But real it becomes. I cut, carve, grind or weld the cast bronze to create unique forms before invariably polishing defining edges or surfaces and oxidising to produce the unique surface finishes that have always been an essential dimension of my work.
Bronze is eternal – yet malleable. I love the stuff. In its natural polished state the tone and depth of colour is sublimely beautiful, yet the surface is endlessly receptive to the transformative effects of oxidisation.
I’m intrigued by the surface and the alchemy of patination. Not because of any obsession with technique, which is difficult to master, but because of the challenging possibilities and the unpredictability of the outcome. The colouring is not a surface coating: it is fundamental, it is the surface. It’s the result of a transformation of the material, by the material, as if it somehow decides its own development.
Although I’m drawn towards apparently simple, tactile objects that seem to exist naturally, I am also, increasingly, moved by less obviously structured patterns of nature’s creation that I see occurring as I move around in the wild.
The linear discipline engrained by an architectural background inevitably informs my sculpture but I’m most powerfully driven and inspired by the natural forms and landscape and, most notably, the immensely strong sense of place where I live and work in Herefordshire, on the edge of England where it is interwoven and blurred with the Welsh borders.
Paradoxically the sea, so far away, its rhythms and its influence on the land it touches is finding an increasing place in my work. This is the same natural rhythm that flows through almost every strand of our life.
Whilst the landscape of the border country seems quiet and slow-moving the sea is forever moving and never still.
There is always a back story. And what is in my head when I create the work it is deeply personal but it matters as much that the work engages the imagination of the onlooker to connect with a deep-rooted and instinctive appreciation of simple, universal forms.