Neil Wood has been a practicing professional sculptor and fine artist for three decades. He has many years experience teaching and lecturing in fine art and sculpture at institutions in the UK. He has worked in various settings; in education, as artist in residence and visiting lecturer, alongside his practice producing sculpture for exhibition and commissions.
He employs a Modernist methodology to explore the human condition in the 21st century. He continues to use the figure as a vehicle to explore formal material qualities and visual language as a means of expressing, often complex ideas, about the world we inhabit and the nature of human experience and relationships.
He sees his practice as two distinct strands; public commissions and gallery artworks. Commissions provide opportunities to work on a large scale requiring understanding of sculpture in specific context and an engagement with community and stake holders. Sculpture for a gallery setting represents a more direct creative output, where the work develops, free from the constraints of a commission brief. The work evolves by experimentation with materials and process.
'Refugee' is a series of stainless steel and bronze semi-abstract figures. Some are limited editions, others are unique pieces. The course handling of the form, the textual qualities of the metals and the patination are intended to suggest the harshness of the subject. The individual titles however, allow for an ambiguity of interpretation and are intended to create a dichotomous experience for the viewer.
'Refugee' is a critique of governments and regimes complicity in the injustices, oppression and cruelty inflicted on the underprivileged and dispossessed. We experience these injustices through the media in ways that seem to negate the individual. This body of work focuses on individual relationships, families, children etc, in an attempt to humanise and depoliticise in favour of and emotional understanding.
Work in Progress
'Displaced' is a series of sculptures, works on paper and cast relief panels loosely called 'Displaced' (working title). The work explores a general socio-political theme of inequality imposed by circumstance. In more particular terms I'm attempting to convey an emotional response to varied humanitarian challenges of the twenty first century, albeit through a formalistic sculptural language that draws on a twentieth century aesthetic and sculptural tradition.