Barry Davies

Born in: Wales
Lives in: Wales
Describe your art in three words: Figurative dynamic and honest.
Education: Art History with the Open University 1995 - 1998 | Presision engineering apprenticeship 1978 - 1982
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Saint David - Bronze 140 x 75 x 70 cm £45,000

"As a professional figurative bronze sculptor depicting historical figures in statuary, and beauty inherent in human and animal anatomy, I adopt a thoroughly researched approach achieving anatomical precision supported by mathematical applications bridging science and art. If nature provides mathematics inherent within anatomy then its for the sculptor to identify this and calculate it in his work."

What themes does your work involve?
The themes that are involved in my work are mainly of a historical nature where I depict prominent figures in history such as Kings, princes and saints. They are all sculpted figuratively and well researched. Detail is important to me as I believe detail makes up the whole, indeed an impressionistic depiction is exactly that - an impression of someone that could be seen as unfinished. Natural History is always present in my work, not just the subject matter but in anatomy, for example exhibiting the correct muscle tensions in a King's leg as he sits in his throne. But also I sculpt portraits in anthropology and reliefs of palaeontology. My statue of St.David by nature touches on a religious theme.
Describe your creative process.
To create my statues or bronze sculptures, I begin initially with the concept followed by extensive research on the historical figure or the animal that I'm embarking on. Once this is established I calculate scale and design the stance. Studying the anatomy is next and making templates for the construction of the armature. Then I build on the armature with plaster and keep carving it back until the desired shape is achieved. When all the detail is complete the artwork is then painted and a mould is made. It goes through the lost wax process and is cast in bronze. This is then sandblasted and hot patinated with chemicals to achieve the desired colour and finish. Limited editions are of 9. A sixth sense tells my when the artwork is finished. A point at which it can no longer be perfected.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I am artistic by nature, this makes up my first and main inspiration. I used to be influenced and inspired by master sculptors from the renaissance and Victoria period however more latterly I'm more driven by my own creativity built on the knowledge I have acquired in my lifetime, a deep understanding of anatomy and how to depict it is one example.I am compelled to create art for the aforesaid reasons, a creative mind is a driven mind. An artist needs to express himself.
What are your goals and plans as an artist in 2023?
King Charles III has, at his request, my portfolio. With this in mind my goal is to build on his awareness of my work by increasing my exposure as a British sculptor and producing more prominent statues in turn promoting my name and status as a bronze sculptor.
How do recent advancements in technology affect your art practice? How may recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (image generator software) affect the definition of fine art?
The advancement in technology however it may be used should never attempt to replace an artist's creation to the extent that the artist's involvement is minimised where technology overrides the artist's input.
What is the role of the artist today?
An artist's role is dictated by his own aspirations, goals and compulsions. Outside of this his or her work plays a vital role, contributing to art as a discipline.Art should be a prominent part of contemporary society adding a richness to our culture and lives.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art is subjective and judged by the eye of the beholder. Great art transcends to a different realm andis universally accepted as undeniably great.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

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