Growing up in Littlehampton, a small town on the south coast of Britain, I spent many days walking the shoreline looking for shiny stones and odd objects washed ashore by the tide. At 17, I studied for a BTEC in General Art and Design at Northbrook College, Worthing. It was here that, as part of an art project on the sea, I first used my scalpel to whittled a gloriously, hideous figure, which I put into a bottle filled with sand.


I have been whittling for over 20 years. During those 20 years I obtained a Masters in Physics and a PhD in Physics and Astrophysics – something that on the surface seems very far removed from art, but it's my background in Physics that has spurred me on to taking my craft and art to a new and exciting level.

I search for driftwood whenever I can. Most of the beaches I spend time on are on the South Coast of England, although wherever I travel I am always looking for the chance to go beachcombing. Recently there has been exciting changes to my life, and I have been working and living on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic for the first fews months of 2013. There is a treasure trove of driftwood on the Domincan beaches, waiting to be discovered, and bringing a truly exotic twist to my work.


Windswept and sea soaked,
Hidden amongst the bleached bones
And ragged feathers.
In that brief moment:
Rough edged,
Covered with sea salt,
And glinting in the sun.


Not all pieces of driftwood contain a figure. In my hands I feel the density, grain, and the softness of the wood. Sometimes I can see the figure in the wood straightaway, something hidden that comes alive in my hands. Depending on the piece of wood I will scratch a rough outline of the figure with a scalpel, or if the figure is really clear, I start carving straightaway.  I use a bigger knife to make rough cuts, and gradually change back to using the scalpel. I then sand down the piece using different grit sizes of sandpaper. After the piece has been sanded down, I put on a first layer of wax. This is a magical moment; when the true colour of the wood is revealed. It is always astonishing seeing the difference in colour and character the wax brings out in the wood. As the first wax, not only reveals the true nature of the wood, but also brings out small imperfections, I reshape the wood again using magnifying glass, scalpel and sandpaper, and the second layer of wax is applied.


I am struck by the likeness some of my figures have to tribal carvings: somehow a primitive element of my soul manifests itself in my work, and naming my figures; giving them an identity, evokes the ancient practice of keeping a deity close by.

 

October 2013

Parallax Art Fair 17th October 2013 - 19th October 2013

Chelsea Old Town Hall, King's Road, Chelsea and Kensington, London, SW3 5EE



July 2013

Love Littlehampton Arts Festival 20th July 2013 - 27th July 2013

The Putting Green Cafe, Norfolk Gardens, Littlehampton, West Sussex, BN17 5GB



July 2012

Design For Living 14th July 2012 - 15th July 2012

Hampton Court Castle, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0PN



June 2012

First Sight 1st June 2012 - 30th September 2012

First Sight Gallery, 34 High Street, Old Town, Hastings,TN34 3ER



May 2012

Showcase Cities London 16th May 2012

Richmix, 23-43 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 23A



April 2012

Showcase Cities London 18th April 2012

Richmix, 23-43 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 23A





Commissions:

With over 20 years experience, Shiva offers customers the chance to discuss ideas, and follow the creative process from start to finish.

Initial planning and consulting can be done via email, phone, or in person.


email Shiva: shivaking@mac.com


mobile: +44 (0) 7932 796 079