Russell's work often involves the use of different mediums to explore an idea. He uses drawing, digital media, video, clay modelling, casting, woodcarving, laser cutting and woodworking techniques to help realise the artwork.
Inspiration may come as a corollary of something he has been making. Once something new is started a new dialogue begins and the work proceeds largely with reference to own potential, often in conjunction with a working title. Commissioned work follows stricter guidelines.
Recently Russell has been working with Perspex. Using assembled transparent layers allows him to create see-through and partially occluded structures. Layers or strata can be seen as a metaphor for time and in sculpture can serve to define the contours of a form and slow or speed the eye over the surface of a work. Incremental layers in a sculpture relate to the one behind it or ahead, pointing to the past or the future, and collectively they create the present.
Interestingly almost everything is, to a lesser or greater extent, formed from layers. Our bones, our skin, the ground, the mobile phone, the wall in front of you . . .
Most commonly the things Russell makes are designed to express a desire, feeling, observation or are a re-imagined symbol of activity. Other pieces are intended as hypothetical instruments or objects which were used for a purpose.
About the Artist
Russell is a British artist who works and lives in Surrey near London, UK. He studied at Winchester School of Art and received his BA (Hons) in Fine Art and Sculpture 1987. 2005 he received PGCE in Design and Technology from the Open University. Russell works particularly as a sculptor using different materials and media.
I have met Russell 2018 during his Residency at the Watts Gallery in Guildford (Surrey), where he worked on different installations and projects, mainly related to the poems of Christina Rossetti. We have started an inspiring conversation and decided to collaborate (I. Woldt)
Russell is Co-Founder of Open Door (Fine Art Exhibitions); Artists After School - Devised and he coordinated after-school art workshops led by practicing artists. Technology Teacher KS3, 4 & 5.
Commissions / Collaborative Projects with Secondary Schools
2001 PIXEL MOBILES. Mould making and Casting From Life to clad two mobile 3D forms. Kings College Guildford. /2002 GAUDI INSPIRED BENCH SEATING. Two bench seats each measuring 10m x 2m x 1m. Constructed from carved and fired brick clay. George Abbot School, Guildford. /2004 Ashford High School. 1-week summer school. Line drawn portraits with Y7 pupils. /2005 ONE WORLD. External wall relief celebrating cultural unity. 2m in diameter. Warlingham Secondary School. /2006 JOSEPHS MULTITEXTURED DREAMCOAT. 3.4m high Cement Dreamcoat mounted on Performing Arts block wall. Henry Cort Community School, Fareham. /2007 SENSORY GARDEN. Comprising Screens, Carved Seats and Wall mounted reliefs for a quiet area in the school grounds. Park Primary School, Aldershot. /2008 TECHNOLOGY DINOSAUR. 6 Panels reflecting the soon to be obsolete present. St John Fisher Community School, Peterborough. /2009 THE HARDER I TRY. Cement relief mural completed with 48 Yr 8 students (2m x 3m). Fixed to external wall of Art + DT building. Ditcham Park School, Petersfield.
Commissions / Collaborative Projects with Special Needs Schools
2006 ART WITHOUT BORDERS - Bass relief sculpture project with Polish, Hungarian, Spanish, German and English SN pupils. 2.4m in diameter - Osborne School, Winchester. /2007 POWERHOUSE - Interlocking plaster cast bass relief incorporating work by every pupil and member of staff at the school. 10.6m x 4.3m. Hollywater School, Bordon. /2008 COMENIUS SCULPTURE PROJECT - White cement construction made up of 32 cast figures occupying negative and positive space. Made with pupils from Y10. 1.75m x 1.3m x 1.2m. Osborne School, Winchester.
Further Commissions and Residencies
1987 Itchen Hamble Countryside Project: Oak Totem carved from living tree (H = 25ft). Hamble Copse, Hampshire. /1994 Council for World Missions: Commemorative Bronze Bust of the Rev. Robert Brown, Papua New Guinea. /2010 Cast concrete seating (2.5m3) with 8 relief panels for Whiteley Parish council. /2016 Greensands Way public seating commission - Reynards Hill. /2018 Read-Code-Make: Worked with Dr Prior to design construct and programme an Interactive Sculpture (based on Frank Herberts - Dune) for touring exhibition, Surrey Libraries. /2018 Lead Artist - Flotilla project. Working with artists from DAISY to build fantasy craft inspired by James Henry Pullen for exhibition at the Lightbox, Woking. /2019 Artist in residence at Watts Gallery, Compton. Producing site-specific sculpture and working with the community in response to the Christina Rossetti Exhibition.
Exhibitions and other Contributions
1989 RYE ART GALLERY - Exhibition of Woodcarvings. /1990 IN WOOD. Woodcarvings and Drawings. Harvey Road Gallery, Guildford. /1996 FOOD FOR THOUGHT. Engravings & food packaging casts. Horsham Arts Centre. /2012 SCULPTURE AND WORKS ON THE WALL. Laminated plywood constructions and single plane reliefs. The Allen Gallery, Alton. /2012 RECENT SCULPTURE. The Jowett Centre, Alton. /2013 BETWEEN THE LINES. Digital prints and laminated plywood and glass constructions. The Jowett Centre, Alton.
1990 Hampton Court Flower Festival - Woodcarvings in a garden setting. /6 Artists. Harvey Road Gallery, Guildford. /1991 Sculpture in the Garden. Deans Court, Wimborne, Dorset. /Flights of Fancy. Wax Kiln Gallery, Farnham. /1993 Sculpture in the Garden Deans Court, Wimborne, Dorset. /Open Door - Sculpture and Painting by 29 British Artists. Halton House and Barnards Inn, Holborn, London. Recruited selectors: Bill Varley (then art critic: Guardian) and Michael Kenny RA. Sponsors: Silhouette Eyeware an. The Mercers Company. (Russell conceived, organised, set up and manned this exhibition with a fellow sculptor). /1994 Open Door 94 - Painting and Sculpture by 41 British Artists. 65 Kingsway, Holborn, London WC2. Recruited selectors: Brian Catlin (Ruskin School, Oxford University) and Jennifer Durrant RA. Sponsors: The Weraldhave Corporation. (Russell conceived, organised, set up and manned this exhibition with a fellow sculptor). /1998 Beatrice Royal Gallery. Eastleigh, Hants. /2014 Guildford Cathedral. 20th Anniversary exhibition. Surrey Sculpture Society.
2003 INDIAN ART. Mixed Media Constructions. George Abbot School, Guildford. /2004 A VEHICLE FOR THE SOUL. Implementing Creativity and Inspiration through the Arts. Willow constructions with Surrey-based NQT's on behalf of 4S. /2007 LASTING IMPRESSIONS. Sculpture workshop for NQT's in Hampshire on behalf of J. Stillman HIAS. /MAKING YOUR MARK. Clay modelling. Weyfield Jnr School Guildford. /2008 CASTING WORKSHOPS FOR PRACTISING ART TEACHERS. Toynbee School, Chandlers Ford. /2009 PRESS MOULDS AND PLASTER CASTS for Arts Festival. Bridgemary Community School, Fareham. /UNFOLDING PLYWOOD SCULPTURES with Yr 10. Ditcham Park School, Petersfield. /2011 CONSTRUCTED WILLOW SCULPTURES with Yr 5. Sythwood Primary School, Woking. /2014 MODELLING AND CASTING FROM FOUND OBJECTS. William Gilpin School, Lymington. /2016 WILLOW AND CLAY MODELLING with children with disabilities. Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Trust Fund. /LAYERED MODELLING AND CASTING with Yr 5 at Cranleigh Primary School. Supporting Contour Seat Commission. /LAYERED MODELLING AND CASTING with Yr 9 at Glebelands School Cranleigh. Supporting Contour Seat Commission. /RELIEF MOLDING AND CASTING with St Josephs, Cranleigh. Supporting Contour Seat Commission. /MOLD MAKING AND CASTING with Surrey Artists Group at Alderbrook Studio. Re: Contour Seat Commission. /EGGAR'S COMMUNITY ARTS WEEK. Working with students who have a disability from Surrey and Hampshire. (On behalf of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Association). /2017 HENRY MOORE - The Lightbox, Woking. Working with the Young Curators to make work inspired by the exhibition. /HENRY MOORE - The Lightbox, Woking. Modeling and casting with Adults to make work inspired by the exhibition. /EGGAR'S COMMUNITY ARTS WEEK. Working with students who have a disability from Surrey and Hampshire. (On behalf of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Association). / ELIZABETH FRINK - The Lightbox, Woking. Adult Workshop to make 'heads' based on sculptures in the exhibition. /DAISY - Sculpture Workshops with 9 disability art groups within the Disability Arts In Surrey organisation.
Commissions / Collaborative Projects with Primary Schools
1987 WORK ON LOAN/HIRE to: Hook County Junior School and Newlands School, Hampshire. /1989 TESTAMENT TO TELEVISION. Hook County Jnr School. Cast and Painted Relief Screen. /1993 MY ENVIRONMENT. 18 Mixed Media Hangings. Reigate Priory Middle School. /1995 RISE AND FALL. Carved anniversary School Sign. St. Mary's School, Frensham. /THE UNDIVIDING LINE. Metamorphosis of Drawings into Objects. West Byfleet Junior School. /ENVIRONMENTAL AGGREGATES. Cement sculpture made from casts of natural and man-made objects. West Byfleet Junior School.
2002 MAZE. 6m x 9m Maze. Play area using silhouette shape panels. Ferhhurst Junior School. ° 2003 WORDWORM. Word/Poetry inspired collage spanning 3 floors in stairwell. GHS Junior School, Guildford. ° 2004 BASE 7. Pictographic date progression derived from number base 7. (7m x 2m). GHS Junior School, Guildford. ° 2006 CREATIVE WRITING/POETRY inspired multicoloured word collage spanning 2 floors of stairwell and progressing onto a classroom wall. St Petres Jnr School, Yateley. ° 2007 UNSEEN BY THE NAKED EYE. Interlocking Circular Bass Relief. Cast from clay moulds, reflecting the beauty of the micro and macroscopic world. ° 2007 * LIVING WILLOW TUNNEL planted/constructed with the help of the pupils. St Pauls Primary School, Dorking. * LIVING WILLOW TUNNEL planted/constructed with the help of the pupils. Brockham Primary School, Dorking. ° 2009 RELIEF MURAL (25m long) in white cement spanning 3 external walls at the entrance area of the school. Comprised of 64 individual tiles each made by a pupil in Yr5. Merdon Junior School, Chandlers Ford. ° 2014 CENTENARY SEAT. With wraparound cast relief designed by the 214 pupils at Langrish Primary School. Stroud.