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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Welcoming Walter Bailey - reverence, gratitude, the miraculous

Walter Bailey (United Kingdom)

reverence, gratitude, the miraculous

'Woman and Cosmos'

(Click on image to enlarge)

When I first encountered Walter Bailey's sculptures, I was nothing less than astonished;

This was ancient... giants...gods and goddesses were playing...
The complexity of the 'lacing' of the wood was one (incredible) aspect - but then also, the way the grain of the wood appeared... as I have only seen it in the ancient, 'burned by time', almost fossilized, wood structures - more than a thousand years old - (wooden) 'stave churches' of my homeland, Norway. And then, of course - I realized - Walter Bailey, in England; he is a 'Celtic spirit'. (There certainly is a relationship between these old, old wooden structures and Walter Bailey's)
Since then, I have learned that some amazing writers have written some beautiful things about Walter's work;
The poetry and authenticity in Bailey’s work might in part be described in Robert Lowell’s definition of true poetry: a ‘commanding, deadly effectiveness in the arrangement, and something that breathes and pauses and grunts and is rough and unpredictable to assure me the journey is honest.’[1] The making of the works requires immense strength, skill and judgement; they represent Bailey’s humility towards the human scale in relation to the mythic; and also his awareness of the continuous transformational or ‘alchemical exchange’between the human and the non-human. It is this sense of balance, also in the work’s relationship to present and past, and in the artist’s commitment to being open-hearted in the face of vulnerability, that gives Bailey’s sculpture its strength, and which gives the viewer an experience of liberation.’ (© Kay Syrad)
Walter Bailey is based in Mid Sussex, UK, and works both nationally and internationally. He works in wood and ice, carving directly with a chainsaw.
“The woodland is my studio; I work there throughout the year drawing nourishment and inspiration from the rhythm of the seasons, the changing landscape".
He has received numerous public and private commissions: Just to mention a few: A Flame for Dunblane; Holy Florian in Styria in Austria; Oak Figure in Broadwater Park, Godalming, and Surrey.
His exhibiting in Kew Gardens and the Chelsea Show should also be mentioned.
And, he shows his work regularly at the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden.
Walter Bailey won the International Enku Award for Universal Truth, beauty and goodness in Sculpture, in Japan.
“One of the remarkable features of Bailey’s work is its ability to hold or contain transformatory human experience. A number of works are concerned with journeying over different stages in one’s life, from trauma towards healing.” (© Kay Syrad)
To read more of Kay Syrad’s beautiful presentation of Walter Bailey’s art:

http://www.fourthdoor.co.uk/unstructured/unstructured_06/walter_bailey.php

 

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