“I believe that in art we must use nature as our principal influence.
However every life experience colours what we produce and we acquire experiences and “information” even before being born, via parents, grandparents, and also via that infinitely interconnected web that is culture and society. We are inevitably grounded in our past as individuals, which is everything right up to the present moment, and also in our collective past.
When I sculpt, like any fine artist, I am primarily concerned with beauty. As Maritain the French philosopher said, beauty is both subjective and objective. Although all things can contain beauty, just as all things can be said to have something good in them, beauty is also defined by proportion, integrity and clarity which seem to be universal qualities.
Art is also said to be a virtue of the intellect and an activity that brings us closer to the divine. This is certainly sometimes evident to the artist as he creates. ... It brings us closer I believe, to the true essence of things, allows us to see through the glass a little less darkly, enables us to see things a little more as they really are; we are really seeking reality, truth. It also seems to bring the sculptor closer to himself. In the creation of a piece I feel more alive, more real, as if I am closer to being who I really am. In this process I hope to acquire virtue and to imbue my sculptures with it. Producing a sculpture has correctly been described as like a mother giving birth. I would add that producing a truly good sculpture is like a virgin birth: in the finished sculpture, that which is not from the artist has come from somewhere higher.” Ian Thompson, Artist Statement