Neil creates bronze art pieces that blend organic processes with engineering.
Born and raised on the Isle of Man, Neil spent most of his childhood fishing and playing amongst the rock pools, jetties and boats in the harbour of the island's capital, Douglas. He developed an affinity with water and structures around it which is a clear influence in his work. Being surrounded by the Celtic and Viking myths, legends and history of the Isle of Man has also had an impact on Neil's work as seen with his contemporary artefact vessels.
After studying fine art, ceramics and photography at the Isle of Man college, Neil went on to study fine art in 1995 at the then known Surrey Institute of Art and Design which is now part of UCA. After graduating, Neil started working in Bronze Age Fine Art Foundry in Limehouse London where he further developed his ceramic shell bronze casting skills. In 2004, Neil moved to Arch Bronze Foundry in Putney where he continues to work part time while running his own studio at the London Museum of Water and Steam in London, a fitting location for his interest in water and the structures built near it.
Neil’s artistic interests are based on connections between organic processes and engineering. Spontaneous, natural, processes like erosion, deposition and gravity are harnessed to produce cast, bronze or mixed media, components. Many of the forms have been developed from ink drawings, produced outdoors in the alpine mountains of France, where strong rock and plant formations can often be juxtaposed with jutting metal towers and aerials. Underwater structures like piling, oil rigs, wind farms and jetties that have been reclaimed by nature and have marine growth, play a part in influencing the forms of Neil's work as well.
Having spent over 20 years of working in bronze foundries, producing artworks for high profile artists like Eduardo Paolozzi, Marc Quinn, Maggi Hambling and Nicola Hicks, Neil has expanded his own creations of beautiful bronze vessels and sculptures and we are delighted to feature his exquisite pieces in our collections.
Neil's decorative bowls and vessels inhabit the intersection between art and artefact. The blue patination he creates which is an accelerated, natural ageing process makes his unique and gorgeous pieces look like contemporary artefacts. His blending of textures from polished bronze to textured and tactile splash-like shapes displays his skill and knowledge of bronze. We love how his pieces look like liquid in motion inspired by cooling, setting and deposition of molten materials.