Commissioned work has been an important part of my output as a sculptor and has had a considerable effect on how I consider my practice. I fulfilled my first commissioned piece in 1985 as part of my remit as a Community Artist in Residence for the Borough of Thamesdown. Since then, when offered the right opportunity I have enjoyed the challenge of undertaking a number of prominent public commissions. One of the prime reasons of course is that the commissioning of sculpture usually means that one is able to realise work on a scale that is not tenable in normal situations but perhaps even more importantly, I have relished the challenge of addressing my work to a much broader audience than a gallery situation attracts.
Commissioned work often also requires a response to criteria one might not normally consider. The context of a site can be a major influence and the form and content of the work can be shaped by the time and space of the location in which it will be placed. For instance, my sculpture Ship to Shore 2007 is a piece very much in keeping with my recent work. Its inspiration however, came directly from the physical and historical context of the dockside in which it sits. The form of the work reflects the shipping bollards that still exist along the old quayside. A male head looking out to sea is superimposed with his female counterpart above, facing in the opposite direction. This makes reference to the dichotomy that necessarily existed in all seafaring communities; the Ship to Shore radio-telephone was a means of communication connecting the two.