"One of my early memories is of a wonderful Cedar of Lebanon in the grounds of my first school. I was fascinated by the grandeur of its branches, almost sweeping the ground and seeming to present me with its massive fir cones. Many years later I would make a sculpture named for it.
Throughout my life, despite the nonfigurative nature of most of my work, I have drawn from nature. Usually this takes the form of quick impressions of landscape, often there is a preference for desert or mountain, locations short on trees. However, the trees of the South of France, mostly palms and parasol pines have proved fascinating studies, informing later sculptures including the series Southern Shade.
The great storm of 1987 gave me a chance to draw the sawn trunks of fallen plane trees leading to a series of sculptures titled ‘Storm Damaged’. I make my smaller works in wood, birch for finished pieces and humble ply for maquettes. As I’m Old School, I use pencil and a wooden drawing board, wood is part of the process so touching wood is easy."