Friday, 1 November 2013

Beginnings.......


bod carving

Thank you for visiting the Justbod Blog and taking an interest in my work!

In the following pages I’d like to introduce you to the ideas, influences and inspirations that have led me both to want to make things, and also shaped the things I make.


Living on this beautiful island which is steeped in history and rich in landscape, I am aware that coursing through my blood is the blood of all those many people who came before me - those people who arrived on these islands like waves on a shore, each new culture overlapping and mingling with the one before it, leaving us with a very rich inheritance. 

Old tree roots / driftwood, Sandsend, Yorkshire
Old tree roots / driftwood, Sandsend, Yorkshire

Trevethy Quoit, Neolithic 'dolmen' burial chamber, Cornwall
Trevethy Quoit, Neolithic 'dolmen' burial chamber, Cornwall

The Hermitage, Littlebeck Woods, North Yorkshire
The Hermitage, Littlebeck Woods, North Yorkshire
  

First the peoples who crept back onto these lands as the ice retreated, evolving to create beautiful and enigmatic megalithic structures. The Bronze Age and the appearance of the Iron Age Celts with their heroes and myths, the Romans with their straight lines and structure, then the Angles, Jutes and Saxons eventually leaving behind their pagan ways to introduce Christianity, challenged for a time by the Vikings, who nearly made the whole mainland their own, and then the Norman Invasion and 1066 and all that – the time that we used to be taught was where our history started…

Justbod - bod's first carving, many moons ago - a dolphin
Justbod - bod's first carving, many moons ago - a dolphin

I began making things many years ago, when like many boys, I spent most of my free time in the woods, trying to make weaponry and survival aids using an old penknife to fashion twigs and other bits and pieces into bows and arrows, catapults, swords and shields, and then trying out their effectiveness on the other boys! A bit later and my first ‘proper’ carving – a cast off piece of skirting board becomes a dolphin – an altogether more peaceful subject! 

Packhorse route 'Rapes Highway,' Marsden Moor, Yorkshire
Packhorse route 'Rapes Highway,' Marsden Moor, Yorkshire
Years later, and still several lifetimes ago, I set up a shop to start selling my wares. During this time, I deepened my fascination for the haunting and mysterious artefacts and monuments left behind in our landscape and a deep love and respect for the talented and inspiring artwork of our ancestors. My artwork, the things I create, is a way to connect further with these unknown artists, and to continue to try to understand and to share their visions. 


Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick, Cumbria
Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick, Cumbria

I also have a passion for the British landscape and its changing moods. I love the bleak and rugged moorland with its wild and secretive ways, I love the storm and the windy coast, I love beautiful rolling downs and sun-dappled woodland and landscapes you can lose yourself in, and then once more find yourself for the first time.

At a different level entirely, I adore the texture and form of nature, from ripples in sand, to the sinuous twisting of wood grain, the hypnotic vision of a babbling brook and the timeless and all-knowing bastions of granite and millstone grit.


'Arthur Rackhamesque' figure, skyline near Wyke Beck, Leeds, Yorkshire
'Arthur Rackhamesque' figure, skyline near Wyke Beck, Leeds, Yorkshire
Nature is the greatest artist and sculptor of all
Hackfall, North Yorkshire


Nature has always been the greatest sculptor and artist of all. 

If I ever manage to convey a fraction of the beauty of nature or the skill of our ancestors, I will feel very proud indeed.
 

Thanks for reading!

bod


If you've enjoyed reading this blog,  
please visit our website to browse and/or buy my work.




  You might also be interested in: 

- a wee bit more about bod, the rest of the team, & our outlook...

  Buying Art & Investing in Soul

- bod on making items by hand


Celtic wood carving


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