Atsuo Okamoto currently teaches in the School of Art and Design at Joshi University.
He is concerned with the natural integrity of stone. For him, the splitting of stone is a form of drawing onto mass.
Atsuo is concerned with the relationship of stone to the environment, both human and geographic. His popular ‘Turtle Project' involves splitting a stone into many parts and distributing each fragment to a different person who is entrusted to care for it for five years. The original stone is then reassembled, each morcel having absorbed the differences of place and handling.
Many of Karl Prantl's wonderful sculptures sit next to his house and studio in his homeland Pöttschinger landscape in Austria.
Karl carefully selected his stones for their shape and character. Often choosing to retain the perimeter edges of the found block, his sensual carving follows the margins and makes use of natural lines, crevices and protuberances. His sculptures emphasise the beauty, mass and sculptural integrity of the stone. Also, each work is invested with a rare human quality in that the sculptures ask to be touched and felt with the body and senses of the viewer and encourage the mind to wander.
John Maine approaches stone as a medium for both carving and construction. He has a long standing interest in ancient stone architecture. He has spent many years working alongside masons and quarrymen, producing site specific sculpture in many parts of the world. He is known for his work on a large scale, interacting with landscape and architecture. In recent years he has created several coastal interventions with marine engineers. His public works have a stillness and sensitivity normally associated with more private spaces. Drawing is also an essential part of his work.
Jess Harrison is a PhD candidate funded by the Stone project. Her work reinforces emotional pathways between external sensual communications and internal experiences.
In stone as well as other materials Jess is a masterful image maker and one of the few who can transform images into sculptural form.
Susanne Specht utilises natural fractures and industrial stone off-cuts as a method of splitting and exploring stone's history, composition and internal structure.
Susanne creates large architectural works that seem to reference primeval shelters and draw our attention to both the material of stone and man's origin and time-span.
Edna Pallares lives and works in Mexico City.
The domestically-scaled black marble sculptures she carves appear to reference tools and artifacts from antiquity. By polishing Edna exposes the stone's constituent matrix and hints at some indeterminate function.
Joel Fisher's work always attaches importance to the most basic ontological issues. His unusual drawings, as much discovered as made, are the sources that precede his sculptural material and processes it.
It is the concern with the shape of a future object that introduces the translation from two into three-dimensionality.
Sybille Pasche works out of several studios, primarily in Switzerland and Cararra.
Sybille's observation and response to the rhythms of nature is simplified and transformed into beautifully crafted and sensual marble sculptures - anthropomorphic, primeval, and contemporary.
Her sculptures, appearing to defy the weight and gravity of stone, seem light and transitory as they connect to the ground.
Jorge Yazpik lives and works in Mexico City and is Mexico's foremost sculptor working with stone. He selects massive basalt boulders from a quarry and exploits the stone's natural vents to open and split them apart. Yazpik then reconfigures the stone's interior and instructs carving assistants in the Juan Fraga workshop to hollow out his vision of crystal-like labyrinthian structures.
In these carved limestone still life sculptures by Glynn Williams he depicts the characters of a crate, a jug, a bottle and two glasses. The Morandi-like etched shadows enable the introduction of colour and a play exists between two and three dimensionality. The sculptures give the impression of having been carved from a large single block – they look as if they had once been complete but now are a damaged version of their previous selves. Much like the museum fragments of ancient art the sculptures have a "rescued" look.
Carlos Lizzariturry lives and works in Croatia. Carlos's stone sculptures are mostly carved in natural glacial boulders.
His sculptures follow a process of splitting, hollowing, re-assembling. His sculptures take form with a minimal penetration of the boulder's skin. It is through small apertures and linear incisions that he invites the viewer to explore the cathedral-like interiors of his sculptures.
Carlos was also Eduardo Chillida's assistant working closely with him to carve his sculptures in granite.
Jake Harvey is Emeritus Professor and former Head of Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art.
Jake's carved sculpture predominantly draws inspiration from archaeology and architectural configurations and spaces. In the process of working he subverts the geometry of his carvings with intuitive, as opposed to measured calculation. A key element is the shaping of invading and peripheral space. Retaining the indexical mark and other traces humanises and provides an implied provenance for the work.
He is the lead researcher in STONE project.
Mary Bourne works with stone because of the resonances it carries. These include an understanding of the processes which have formed the stone chosen, be it intense pressure and heat or infinitesimally slow deposition, and a sense of time measured in geological terms (as opposed to the ever vanishing "now" we inhabit). The idea of stone as a medium of record, whether a natural, fossil record or a place for people to record significant facts - to "set them in stone", also informs much of what she creates.
Emeritus Professor Michael Schoenholtz formerly taught in the Hochschule Der Kunst and lives and works in Berlin.
The geometry of the shell limestone Michael predominantly carves is found through intuition and a developed sense of drawing and manipulation of form and space. The architecture of his sculpture often posses anthropomorphic proportions, characteristics and alignments.
In the Tumbled Sky series of sculptures by Claudio Creti fluid and organic forms combine with elegant slender elements propping against or lying upon rustic units, around which they may also appear to "orbit." Like cloud cushions seen from an aeroplane they appear to be organised in loose masses and lines with the "bases" giving unity to the group, aligning the course, and functioning as harbours for the sculptures that seem to drift in space.
The geometric sculptures of Murai are quiet, thoughtful and powerful presences. Through linear incising and excavating voids or creating water-filled spaces within the mass he explores aspects of stone's longevity and naturally formed solidity. The contrasting transience of nature is suggested through the reflection of the environment on the water surface, and human intervention through architectural grid drawing on the stone's planar surfaces.
Barry X Ball began to use digital technology to make portrait sculptures in stone in the late nineties at a time when he considered his work had ‘reached an insular, self-referential impasse, ’ and there existed very little figurative stone sculpture in contemporary museums and galleries. Portrait subjects included other visual artists, collectors, curators, musicians and family members and he sought out rare and exotic and occasionally fissured and pitted stones to create his sculptures. ‘Stone “imperfections” counterpoised with fetishistic craftsmanship.’
The portrait subjects initially have their heads moulded in alginate/plaster and a series of reference photographs are taken before a process of digital cylindrical 3-dimensional laser scanning and “virtual” manipulation occurs and conversion to machine language. The initial stone shaping is accomplished on ‘glacially slow’ computer-controlled (CNC) milling machines and months of hand carving and polishing takes place to finish the works. The average time needed to complete each portrait is 2-3 years.
Stone is generally considered as close and compact. The geological making of this matter implies a long-scale relationship with time: the time of its creation, rooted in a territory, as part of a landscape or a location. It embodies a durability comfortably installed in continuance. Yet, in the now, in the moment, stone is porous. It represents the reality of time experienced in the present.
Gerard Mas was born in Sant Feliu de Guixols, Girona, Spain and studied at Llotja Art School, Barcelona.
Gerard's strategy is to evoke 15th century Florentine portrait busts, applying his superb craft skills with a humour that can only be contemporary.
Regardless of their colour, the stone surface of his figures always evoke the qualities of skin.
Hayashi Takeshi is currently Associate Professor of Sculpture at the Tokyo University of the Arts .
His work is concerned with the space and the object, often using the qualities of stone that allow it to split along its own lines of energy.
His sculptures are able to concentrate energy in a way that simultaneously evokes the sweep of landscape and physicality of place.
Tactility is important.
The primary focus of Stephen Cox's sculptures is their historical depth. Cox has largely worked with stone; a material steeped in its own history that also required the knowledge and skill of ancient techniques and processes to work with it. In the mid-1980's he began visiting India where he became fascinated with the lineage of stone carving skills being passed down through generations of Indian master carvers (shilpis). He then set up a studio in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu and began working with a team of craftsmen, where he has worked for the past 25 years. He is one of Britain's most professional and accomplished carvers and his foresight to feed from the experience and skills of stone craftsmen in other cultures has encouraged several others to follow his initiative.
Peter Randall-Page's work is informed by the underlying principles that determine organic growth, and the visual organic forms that result from these principles. Peter sometimes covers the surface of glacial erratics with the decorative urgency of plant form, a sculptural surfacing that evokes the power sometimes found in primitive human embellishments.
For Milestone Peter was assisted by David Brampton-Greene, a self-employed stone carver who has worked with Peter for 22 years. David epitomises the intelligence of the craftsman and is very articulate about how one engages with material. He has worked previously with artists including Glynn Williams and Anish Kapoor, but his relationship with Peter is especially profound.
Andreas Blank's stone encarved trompe l'oeils seem casual at first sight. However, his arrangements are precisely staged and after closer inspection, one discovers that light bulbs, transport boxes and wine bottles are made of marble, alabaster or sandstone and the baroque drape of a plastic bag shows visible tool marks. Blank studied at Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste Karlsruhe and at the Royal Academy London. He lives and works in London.
Most stone artists like to reinforce the feeling of stone in their work. Felipe Cohen does the opposite. His small finely crafted objects allow stone to take on other identities; black stone becomes a shadow, white stone becomes milk. When we identify our misreading, the work doesn't flatten out but instead becomes richer in meaning and associations. Felipe was not part of the Milestone carvers but his work was included in the accompanying exhibition.
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