Mary Philpott

"The Real magic of discovery lies not in the seeking new Landscapes, but in the having new eyes." marcel Proust

My work is an expression of my love for, and fascination with, the Natural World: its Forests, the birds and the beasts. As long as I can remember, I've always loved walking in the woods, reflecting on the lives of the Trees and the other inhabitants, with wonder and some astonishment, as what Keats referred to 'taking part in the existence of things'.

The sculptural pieces I make are a reflection of this observation, while walking in the woods, and referencing our human Mythology, folktales and fairy tales of times past. The animals and birds are an expression of the Elemental Being, an Idea(l) of the creature, its history in our Narratives, and less about realism or individuality of a single being. The Elemental Deer, with its antlers sprouting leaves and tendrils, represents all deer in story, and in the natural world. The surfaces of the pieces are craggy, rough, with gestural immediate sweeping mark making, that refers to movement of the air and wind, and of the animal at rest, not yet in motion.

The surfaces are ornamentals, without realism.

The way in which I describe these beings in clay, the surfaces, with stains, metallic oxides, crackly slips and matte glazes, recall children's book illustrations of the nineteenth century in Britain and Europe, as well as antique illustrations and representations of Fairy Tales and Mythology, in Aesop's Fables or The Grimm's tales, in the Golden Bough or Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.