17 Aug 20 by justatest
I had been deeply shocked by the vastness and misery of Bombay slums on my first visit to India.
On one occasion I saw a young mother who was so destitute she had wrapped her naked baby in newspaper.
Although not based on that scene, this sculpture was one of the first works completed on my return.
When I first arrived, I had a lot of problems with the neighbours as I'd get up early in the morning and start sawing wood to make stretchers for canvas. Very quickly I realized I'd better stop that, and so I began to work with garden wire netting to build forms that turned out to be robust and light.
The main advantage was that it was a relatively silent process - the disadvantage being it took much longer to do.
This piece was a combination of the old process (stretched canvas) inside and outside the 'new' wire frame.
I liked the result - not only the finished work, but that the neighbours too became less hostile.
This is the nearest I hope to get to making an artist's coffin.
I'd found a well-paying job washing dishes, rented a nice apartment, and had recently taken on the role of the proud father... but was infinitely bored.
I'd drifted away from contact with the art world and was afraid this would be the last piece I'd ever do.
In a way, I suppose I look on every work I do now potentially the last one ever.
Lacking a basic confidence in this stuff means I'd spend inordinate amounts of time testing my commitment to an ideal of the artist. My concern would be to fail that test, and drop the brushes once and for all.
This was a time that I'd come closest to doing just that.