Mixed Media Sculpture by Philip Eley
I have been a painter, working in the naïve style for a number of years. My most popular pieces are fishing villages on distressed wood.
It was during lockdown when I started making clay and driftwood models of villages. I build up my villages slowly. The whole process starts with beach walks with my dog, where I spend time beachcombing for driftwood, shells and rusty metal. The clay houses are made, painted, distressed and re-painted. Then I start arranging the houses on the driftwood and adding other features.
I never hurry because time is an important part of the process. Although I have a real village in my mind while I arrange my pieces, I never follow photographs. I want to catch a vague, imperfect, memory of a place, rather than something which looks too similar.
My pieces are rusty and distressed and slightly melancholy. I like my pieces to remind people of time passing, and distant memories. My ideal is to present a dream-like impression of a place dimly remembered.
My favourite line in literature is from Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier. ‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me.’ This is the feeling which I am trying to capture.
Mixed Media | Clay, Driftwood and Found Items