Artist Profile

I have been making sculpture since graduating from Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT at the end of 1987.  Initially I worked in ceramic earthernware making sculptural pieces as well as plates, platters, bowls and zoomorphic (animal shaped) teapots. 

My work was included in a book, Contemporary South African Ceramics by W Cruise, in 1991.

During this period I had several group exhibitions and one solo exhibition.

In 2000 I began working in bronze. Initially I modelled in clay, as before, then made my own silicon rubber and fibreglass moulds to produce the Waxes from, but then started modeling in ball clay (wax and clay powder mix, similar to plastecine) and soft modeling wax, both of which produce a different surface texture to clay. The Bronze Age Sculpture Foundry in Simons Town then cast the waxes into bronze. I have also done comission work in Stirling Silver, using the same method.

During this period I  participated in numerous group exhibitions, and have work in the Old Mutual Collection in London.

The motivation or theme of most of my work is human emotional frailty and the obsession to misrepresent or disguise oneself. Initially I created dysfunctional and unlikely machines to represent this point of view. I then began working more figuratively, substituting the mechanical devices for animal references, applied to human nude forms, mostly male.

When I started working in bronze, I made the animal component look hard, metallic, mechanical and armour like, while keeping the human part naturalistic and anatomically correct, to give them a more modern contemporary look.

Philip Barrett

Febuary 2009

Click here to view my Curriculum Vitae (Adobe PDF).

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