Artists Statement

© Conor Masterson

I grew up in a large house in Northern Ireland, surrounded by an idyllic countryside but traversed by bigotry and war. As a result I've had an ongoing need to make sense of the relationship between creativity and destruction.
Ever since I can remember I wanted to be an artist. My first major influence was punk and the DIY ethic that went along with it. Firstly it was the music, but also the zines, clothes, flyers, posters and the whole range of creativity. After attending a Mutoid Waste party in 1989, I realised that what I wanted to make was considered art by many. It gave me the confidence to start creating my found object collages which led to my first show in 1990 (Doodle and Gomi Soup, London).

In my work I deal with memories, social history, personal histories and mythology. I explore how these mix and interact with modern technological and contemporary culture. My work draws on my many and varied life experiences. As a collector everyday objects, I create installations and sculptures with materials and ideas I find in the skips and pathways of urban and rural landscapes. I use assemblage and collage to reflect on issues and notions relating to popular and sub-culture.

Sometimes I contrast found objects and mixed media with the perfect ephemeral properties of glass. When applying glass, with its connotations of luxury, to these objects it allows me to reflect on today’s culture from a new angle; echoing raw urban street life, a notion of rural material life, or depicting new technology. But it is not the material that is important its the subject so as well as using glass, bronze and other art materials I will use whatever I think conveys my message best this may well include digital materials, video and photography within my work.
The intention behind my work is to push the viewer into other ways of seeing, to pose questions and encourage others to see the world from a different perspective.

Sculpture to me is all about expressing ideas, concepts and emotions in a 3D form.
Andrew Graves-Johnston

Photo portrait © Conor Masterson

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