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24 September 2014

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You are in: Devon > Arts and Culture > Arts Features > Sculptor inspired by nature

Peter Randall-Page at his workshop

Peter Randall-Page at his workshop

Sculptor inspired by nature

Generations of great artists have made Devon their home and the tradition shows no sign of slowing down. One of the UK's foremost sculptors, Peter Randall-Page, has told us about what inspires him.

Peter Randall-Page is best known in the South West for creating the 13ft high granite Seed that forms the centrepiece of The Core building at the Eden Project.

His work can be seen in many public and private collections throughout the world including the Tate Gallery and the British Museum and is inspired by a study of organic forms and their subjective impact on our emotions.

At his home and studio on the outskirts of Drewsteignton, Peter Randall-Page is surrounded by huge boulders he's working with for an exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The sculptor and his work

The sculptor and his work

The naturally eroded boulders mark a new phase in Peter's work.

"In the past I've done things that are highly planned, there are masses of drawings and models which are translated into a large three dimensional stone carvings," he explained.

Preparation was all important for Peter's work with the Eden Project. The Seed and its encompassing building follow the fundamental mathematical principles of the Fibonacci sequence and the golden proportion.

But now more random forces are at work.

Peter is drawing directly onto the boulders, applying patterns to the naturally eroded stone. He says working in this less restrictive way, mirrors how plants have to adapt to their natural environment.

Artists working in Peter's studio

Artists working in Peter's studio

"The really lovely part of the process for me, is making the pattern accommodate to the vagaries of the piece of stone that I have.

"It's my job to make it have some meaning or interest for us as human beings."

Inside his studio Peter has taken that process one stage further, by taking a cast of the boulders and covering them in ping-pong balls.

"Adding these regular spheres creates a nice tension between order and chaos".

Work by Peter Randall-Page can be seen in Japan, South Korea, Australia and he recently had a residency on the Ugandan Island of Lolui, but after 20 years in Devon he calls Drewsteignton home.

Finished Randall-Page sculptures

Transformation complete

"The South West has a very special atmosphere. I love the landscape around here because it is very three-dimensional, lots of nooks and crannies and hidden valleys." 

"I find that very inspiring, sometimes when I am carving over the surface of a rock it's rather like walking through the landscape."

Peter is also doing his bit to ensure that Devon remains a hub of creativity through the Dartmoor Arts Project. 

In the summer of 2008 he'll join other established artists at a week-long summer school, where emerging artists will get the chance to experiment and learn as they work alongside each other.

last updated: 24/04/2008 at 12:00
created: 24/04/2008

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