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wood / Bristol

“My work can be read as highlighting how we treat the natural world, this is something I feel strongly about. The wood I use can be seen as representing nature being distorted by man-made structures. The wood can also be seen as representing us, being distorted by the things that happen to us.

Living in rich countries we have a comfortable life in general, but bad things can still happen and there is much pressure on us to succeed and be happy. This combined with depressing news, advertising and social media giving us a false impression that everyone else is doing better, having more fun, or not worried, does have a destructive effect. It is partly this distortion of reality and partly the feelings caused by this distortion, that I am also trying to embody.

I made this work not just as a cathartic expression to help me deal with my feelings, but to show that these feelings can be used as a creative force and a force for positive change. I want to show people that no matter how crushed, wrinkled and scarred you are by life, (either physically or mentally) you, like my sculptures, are still beautiful. Let us not be ashamed that we are effected, but instead revel in our wrinkles and celebrate our scars, because they show that you have lived through the hard times and survived. You are strong and others should respect that, we should help each other and keep fighting to make this world a better place.

I am aware of the irony that my work is highlighting the destruction of trees by the very act of destroying a tree. Trees are not throw away items and I source them from reportedly sustainably managed forests. The metal parts are often sourced from scrapyards so are recycled.”

– Phil Young