Philip Hearsey

With a background in architecture, interior and furniture design Philip is a self-taught sculptor and he specialises in sandcasting to make pieces which engage the quality of bronze as a noble material in its own right.

His sculptures are intimate in scale and intended for the interiors of home, office or hotel.

Casting in sand moulds is a simple and ancient method far removed from the sophisticated lost wax operation used by most art foundries. The sand-casting process is relentless and unforgiving – the foundry is no place for a delicate original. It denies a complexity of form that imposes a disciplinary and enriching simplicity.

Philip cuts, carves, grinds or welds the cast bronze to create unique forms before invariably exposing the natural bronze or oxidising to produce the unique surface finishes that have always been an essential dimension of his work.

Bronze is eternal – yet malleable. In its natural state the tone and depth of colour is sublimely beautiful, yet the surface is endlessly receptive to the transformative effects of oxidisation.

Philip is intrigued by the surface and the alchemy of patination. Not because of any obsession with technique which is difficult to master, but because of the challenging possibilities and the unpredictability of the outcome. The colouring is not a surface coating: It is fundamental, it is the surface.

He lives and works on the Welsh borders of Herefordshire – a beautiful place, still remote and largely unaltered, landlocked and very slow in change. This is in sharp contrast to the coast that he also loves where everything changes twice a day with the rise and fall of every tide.

What is in Philip’s head when he creates the work is deeply personal but it matters equally that the sculptures engage others to connect with the deep-rooted and instinctive appreciation of simple, universal forms that underpin his inspiration.

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