Artist’s statement

My practice revolves around ideas of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), and the way that viewers react and relate to machines and methods that can make machines interact with the viewer. To realise this I want to build automata and animated scenes. Like the amusement arcade machines and puppetry I get inspiration from they are self contained and entertaining. I realise this through a number of mediums. Sculptural materials such as wood, metal and ceramics; and using mechanics and electronics to provide animation and interaction. My hope is that they are visually appealing and skilful in the making and operation.

I am researching in contemporary and historical perspectives, as machines can be both obvious and magical in their operation. I have a particular interest in older technology mixed with the new. making simple machines that can have a profound and mysterious effect on the viewer. 

I am examining ideas about how simple machines, objects and environments  that seek to replicate natural or imaginary objects can have a greater meaning to the observer than what is visually present. What is seen is a machine. Some of the working parts are visible, some are hidden. Some visible parts hide the operating parts. The drawings should be seen as diagrams that give and hide clues to operation. They also encapsulate the beauty of the finished object.

These objects I am creating could be trivial in appearance and in operation, they may have the appearance of arcade amusements or animated tableau. But can a machine invoke emotions and feelings; or can a machine read your thoughts? Moreover, can it in image and interaction be so powerful as to incite worship? Is this how the ‘gods’ arise out of manufactured objects and is this a natural outcome?

My machines seek to ask questions, comment on life and give the viewer something that is engaging, involving and sometimes wonderful for a few moments in exchange for their coin. My hope is once, if ever, the present crisis is over, then the ‘speculative’ can be taken from the exhibition title.

Untitled/Forest, 2020
Wood, electronics, paint, 
40 x 40 x 50cm, Artist collection, Bath.
Looking, 2020
Ink on tea-stained paper,
30 x 50cm, Artist collection, Bath.
The true meaning of Christmas, 2020 60 x 40cm, Pencil and ink on paper, Artist collection, Bath.
Stephen Spicer
Untitled/Sky Machine 
2020 Pencil, ink, paint on paper, 45 x 45 cm, Artist collection, Bath
I know you, 2020 Ink on tea-stained paper, 
70 x 40cm, Artist collection, Bath.
Ruth/Icons in isolation.
2020. Pencil and acrylics on wood, 40 x 40 cm.
Untitled/Seascape peepshow 2020 Ink, paint, pencils on tea-stained paper, 40 x 70cm, Artist collection, Bath.
Untitled/Fast Food
2020 Ink on tea-stained paper, 40 x 70cm, Artist collection, Bath.
Prototype of Travelling Museum. Dimensions variable.