The Human Form in Clay

This book is the first of its kind: a celebration of fifty contemporary artists from around the world who have chosen to create the human form in clay. There is a detailed account of each artist’s work, including biographical details and precise descriptions of working methods. And each artist has been asked to nominate a major source of inspiration – whether another artist or key work, in any medium and from any culture – giving the reasons for their choice. The resulting illustrations – ranging from the Willendorf Venus to a Michelangelo Pieta – combine with stunning photographs of the artists’ work to make this a book that will inform and inspire.

“I felt strongly that there needed to be a fine art book to celebrate the increasing number of artists who were choosing the human form in clay as a vehicle for expression. I decided to choose fifty contemporary sculptors, all of whose work showed depth of meaning.

As with my previous book, Colour in Clay, I was keen to include newer talent as well as more established artists; and was pleased with the mixture that resulted. Most artists gave new information for the first time ore reassessed the reasons for making their art. Lorraine Fernie, for example, wrote to say, ‘I have enjoyed writing the piece. It provided a great chance to sort out my ideas in relation to my work. Thank you for providing the opportunity.’

It was a tricky business to group the artists under the umbrella of a single chapter, many could have been in more than one; but doing so has given the book more structure, and I have tried to link each chapter by ending it with an artists who could equally have been in the next. Also there was a kind of internal linking which occurred naturally when one artist cited another, whom I had chosen to be in the book, as an influence.

Finally, I also wanted to couch the language in a style that was easy to understand so that anyone could enjoy reading the book, find inspiration in it, or be encouraged to make work of his or her own.

Available from The Crowood Press.