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Beautiful Objects

Stephen Hornsby-Smith

How could you ditch, jettison and cast into the oblivion of rejection such beautiful objects to be second -hand tat rescued by chance?

I'm referring to the African masks that I've tried to breathe new life into by transformative colour, made by pattern work and designed by impulse and idiosyncratized imagination. So some of the objects might have been mass produced for tourists descending from their air-conditioned buses to get a 'piece of non-authentic' nic nacs, but that isn't the point. What drives the artist won over by the joy of colour, the harmony and passion of the hand made? Perhaps respect for the true craftsmen who produce something from their soul, from their ancient culture and something to herald a profound spiritual resonance that no Western imperial theft of a dubious past can desecrate any longer.

I make beautiful objects with all the fire and desire for the unique that I can muster, and I believe this energizes my whole art practice. It is a powerful statement and a completely overwhelming life force for me. Indeed, there are parallels in the 'bigger picture' of my Painting practice that too involve working with the disgarded, like 'sedentary backwater' of the medium of Painting and its passe canvas. I especially welcome this particular practice that, I think, transforms and affirms the apex of all artistic colour.

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