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2 pieces by Ian Marlow
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The Seed of Life
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Ian Marlow Sculptures
On leaving art college Ian set up various studios working predominantly in wood and in mixed media before moving to Hinton Charterhouse in 1986 where he established his studio in the former village chapel. It was here that he began sculpting in stone and for the next fifteen years demand for his work flourished in both studio sculptures and public and private commissions. His work during this period was predominantly figurative - animal and human - with sculptures ranging from modest-sized pieces for the home to huge outdoor marble sculptures weighing several tonnes.In January 2000, he bought a beautiful 200 year old Georgian chapel in the heart of a Somerset village that was to become his present home and studio, the Ebenezer Chapel at Buckland Dinham.January 2000 was also the start of the new millennium and, combined with a new home and studio, it seemed the opportune moment to also seek new inspirations. A true artist never stops developing; he always needs to push beyond the confines of his own boundaries, to search for new challenges to feed his creative spirit and enhance his art. This was therefore the perfect time for Ian to find fresh inspiration and inner vision and, strangely enough, the medium he chose for this new journey was the very material that began his sculpting life: clay. The fact that clay is so diametrically opposed to the material he had spent fifteen years working in made it the perfect source of renewed enlightenment. Stone has to be taken away to reveal the form within but clay reverses this process, it is a material to build with and therefore demands not just different skills but a complete change in mental attitude, vision and approach and all these challenges made it the ideal source for a journey of artistic enrichment.This journey took the next 30 months but at the end of it he emerged with a new creative charge that was bold and inspiring and in 2003 he returned to the stone he loved with a new vitality and began developing the latest series of studio works called EQUILIBRIUM - a series of stone sculptures that are both stunning in their beauty and powerful in their simplicity.In 2004 he was invited to exhibit these new works in Monaco which became their first public showing.
Selected Commissions/collections:
Over many years I have formulated a commission process that works for the ease of the customer. Some clients know exactly what they want having seen previous work, but most people who commission a sculpture know they want something - they just donít know what that something is. It is my job to help them realise their ideas, first on paper, before creating that special work in solid form to feature in their home, garden or office.

Stage 1
Meeting with the client to discuss basic requirements - size, materials, theme, situation, budget (most people have a limit in mind of what they wish to spend). This first meeting is usually on site but sometimes is done by phone or email and photographs.

Stage 2
Based on that meeting I work on a series of 5 or 6 basic designs which enable you to visualise a sculpture and some images from which we can decide on the final design in more detail.

Stage 3
The final design is produced and the costs established and agreed. Work on the sculpture itself can then commence.

Stage 4
You will be kept informed throughout the process of your sculpture and are invited to view it during the sculpting period and when it is completed prior to delivery and installation. Many clients like to take photographs during the sculpting as their work emerges from the stone.
Artist's Statement:
Ian prefers to use smaller studio rooms in the grounds of his old chapel rather than one main workshop as this gives variety of mood and ambience which allows him to choose the workplace to suit the piece heís creating. ĎIíve had large single-room studios in the past,í says Ian, Ďand they are useful working environments but they can feel a bit soulless, like a unit on an industrial unit. I reached the point where I needed something more, I needed to feel the sun moving across the plants as I sketch, to see the robins feeding their young as I model the clay or to listen to the rustle of the trees as I work the stone. Itís a more natural way to be creative.Ian says that this puts him more spiritually in contact with nature and that this is the core of all creativity. ĎIíve always said that Art is one soul talking and another soul listening,í he explained. ĎArt is something that is created from within the artist and when you are moved by a work of art it reaches in and touches something deep within you.íHis most recent series of studio work are a celebration of natural balance.These sculptures explore the way nature effectively creates a counterbalance that is visually stunning: the seed pod sprouting, the tip of the vine that twists and curls, the fish as its swims, the dancer moving through the air, the sportsman in action, the bird in flight, the tree as it bends in the wind, the blade of grass weighted down with rain and the drop of water just about to fall from its tip. These are the forms that surround us everywhere yet which few of us have the time to see or acknowledge. This series is my way of providing us all with the opportunity to appreciate the wondrous simplicity of this natural phenomena, and yet they express much more than just balance; they are much more than works of incredible form and beauty. These stunning sculptures are what drives him to spend days upon days working in his studio chiselling away at raw blocks of stone.They come from within the sculptor himself - they are his reason for being.
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