Bridget Whitehead

Bridget Whitehead works in sculpture and letter cutting in stone and stone like materials.

Bridget says 'Sculpture is the language that I use to explore my relationship with the world around me. Stone is my primary medium. I am interested in geology, landscape and the materiality of stone. The mass of stone appeals to me, the cool surfaces, the rough and the smooth. Carving stone is a laborious process, with work evolving slowly. Once a chip has been removed, there is no going back. I work with traditional tools of hammer, chisel and rasp; each blow is carefully considered. As a child I combed rugged Atlantic beaches for wave carved pebbles. The sheltering landscape, the kiss of sun on salted skin and the security of family nearby kindled a connection to the natural world. As a Geologist I discovered the rhythms of the earth, the cycles of rock formation and erosion; I learned to think deep under the surface of the earth. Now I sculpt limestone and marble as I delve into questions of belonging, grief and loss, love and memory. The hands-on aspect of my practice fills a deep need to get my hands dirty, to be in physical contact with the earth. Sculpting natural stone is an adventure. A block may contain fossils or cracks or coloured veins that are not visible on the surface. Each piece of rock has its own character that emerges as I work. The process of carving a sculpture is almost a conversation with the stone. Stone carving is an enduring artform. I am conscious of being part of a centuries long tradition and so feel a responsibility to produce sculpture of enduring value.'


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