Making a sculpture is a long process. Researching the stories of a place and its people, absorbing the landscape and talking to people who inhabit it. Drawing and measuring, building the sculpture from steel, cutting, bending and welding. I never make a maquette: instead I dream the work forward until it grows into a life of its own.
The Norfolk coast has a rich seam of stories to research: fishing, fisherman, boats, lifeboats, the sea and the ever shifting, unstable beach. This winter I was given a photograph of 5 pairs of heavy horses pulling the 33ft lifeboat up Wells Beach, sometime in the early part of the last century. The multiple narratives around this photograph have been the focus of 6 months of work culminating in a 3-metre high sculpture that stands on the edge of the marsh in the Port of Wells. Part of the Wells Heritage Arts Trail, Lifeboat Horse oversees the arrival of boats from the seaward side and people from the landward, occupying, dominating and solidifying the liminal, transitional space between land and sea, ground and spirit.
Every day the sculpture changes with the ebb and the flow of the tide, becomes part of what is hidden and revealed again by the fickle coastal light and the mood of the sea.