I needn’t have worried of course, mainly because with my choice of speaker, I couldn’t have gone wrong. Charles is an accomplished and engaging speaker and had prepared a fantastic visual presentation representing a canter through his stellar career – we were all thoroughly engaged from start to finish.
I first met Charles about 5 years ago when he presented at a ‘Sculpting a Living’ day at the RBS and was impressed then and more recently I saw his ‘Elements’ Show in the city, which was super impressive – the private view was like a ‘who’s who’ in the London scene.
The appeal of his work, to me anyway, is that it’s ambitious and compelling and somehow succeeds in combining a blend of geometry and repetition with an intriguing organic quality. Charles’ influences range from rock formations and geology through music and poetry and on to change over time.
The fact that it is often on a truly monumental scale and is or has been in so many prestigious locations across the country and shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Antony Gormley, Anthony Caro and Lynn Chadwick makes for a heady mix!
Further details can be found on his web site http://www.charleshadcock.com/
For us folk nearer the beginning of their artistic journey, there is nothing better than hearing from stimulating artists – offering insights into how they operate, what inspires them, the challenges facing them and so on. So it is just brilliant that sculptors like Charles are prepared to give their time…
A couple of references from the evening intrigued me; one was that his tutor at the RA referred to his casting of found objects (polystyrene) as a ‘hand made – ready made’ – Charles saw the beauty in the form of the otherwise disposable ready made and wanted to preserve it in bronze forever – and amplify this by putting it on a plinth. Ahead of his time I’d say.
Something which resonated with me is that Charles often refers back to older pieces when developing new – both in the making and conceptually – an artists journey could never be a straight line after all! Oh and to be proud of being a ‘maker’ and not to be afraid to use the word ‘beautiful’ in referring to work…
He also likes to leave a sculpture unfinished, to leave something for the eye of the viewer to complete – and nothing is ever perfectly symmetrical even if it may at first appear so – rather like nature itself.