I have known Angus Massey for 2 years now. We have talked about this exhibition over a year ago, but I guess things happen in their own time. I am very happy we’ve got to this point – one week away from Framed #17, where Angus will be showing his sculpture, brush & ink calligraphy and font work. Angus is originally from Ireland, lived in Italy, Israel, India and now Berlin.
So many things I’ve wanted to ask Angus, so I have…
Here are some of them followed by his reply –
You are influenced by Eastern philosophies.
Could you explain how do these Eastern philosophies effect your work?
Science has come to a point at the quantum level, where the observer and observed cannot be meaningfully separated. Eastern philosophy in general, and Advaita and Shaivism in particular, comes to the same point through a study of subjective experience. The underlying field of all reality, I believe, is consciousness. Finding ways of expressing this truth is what fuels my work.
Looking at your beautiful sculptures, it seems so complex making them.
How long is the process of creating a sculpture and what are the main steps of this procedure?
It takes typically from six weeks to two months to make a bronze, but can take much longer and often does. Here are the steps in succession: sketching, scale-drawing, making an armature, modelling the sculpture in clay, moulding the finished clay, making a hollow wax from that mould, modelling the wax sculpture, moulding for bronze, pouring: raw-bronze, chased, patinated, based. finished.
I know you are a musician as well as an artist and that you are a great fan of music.
Do you listen to music while working? What do you listen to lately?
Often silence is a better soundtrack for making my work than music. Lately I’ve been listening to more podcasts than music. Tami Simon, Krista Tippett, Rick Archer, Rupert Sheldrake, to name a few.
One can’t ignore all the beautiful figures, you sculpt. Do you have specific figures from real life that you use as inspiration for your work?
Daphna my partner is a constant inspiration. Learning the craft in various studios around Tuscany it was the Renaissance that inspired me and in some ways my work is more in dialogue with that era of the figure.
The mirrors in your work, I feel, create a sense of lightweight and hovering.
When did you start working with the mirrors?
Do you remember that moment you have “discovered” their effect over your work?
Years before I ever used an actual mirror in my work I used draw mirrors and reflections. Back in art college in the early nineties I can remember using mirrors in a makeshift sculpture: broken concave shards assembled together with sand, stones and a wooden frame. I was trying to sculpt a recurring dream.
You have been traveling and working in many different places around the world over the years.
Just out of pure personal curiosity – Where did you feel most comfortable creating your art in?
No one particular place stands out above others, I have been blessed to live and work in many places. Italy was my lifeblood as a sculptor for many years, India was formational in my thought, Israel was very productive but very intense. And now Berlin, which is a Mecca for creatives the world over.