ArtChat [Blog Interview Number 18] – Stephen Glassborow

Stephen Glassborow is a contemporary figurative Sculptor who focuses his passion on the human form. Glassborow completed a Fine Arts Degree at Brighton College of Arts, in the UK.   Since then his career as a Sculptor has thrived.  With his works now displayed in Australia, America and Asia Pacific. Glassborow uses symbolism and abstract shapes to create these sculptures. The sculptures created exist within their own context due to his manipulation of the human figure; the works are created in a realm of the real and surreal.  The viewer is drawn into this dream world through the meticulous detail and illusion he creates within these works.  Inspiration behind these sculptures by Glassborow is drawn from a name or phrase which then guides the creation of his works.  You can see the influence of the Art Deco through the use of romantic undertones, beauty and exuberance present within the work, capturing your imagination and taking you to a world of fantasy through these contemporary bronze sculptures.

AC:         Describe your art and style in one sentence. SG:         My work was originally inspired by the Art Nuvo /Art Deco period, but my ideas now come from a much broader, contemporary, and colorful interpretation of figurative realism.

AC:         Stephen you have devised a unique approach to creating your work. Could you divulge a little into this creative process and where you draw your inspiration from? SG:          Every piece needs to have a reason for being; the problem is how do you find that reason?  For me, a title, or a phrase, becomes the spring board for the development of an idea. It can be a long journey working that way, but for me it makes the idea so much more complete

AC:         You studied at art college in Brighton, what mediums did you work in and why did you prefer sculpture? SG:          I found very quickly that working in clay was the medium of preference. I actually wanted to be a painter, but the lecturers at college shoved me into the sculpture department. They obviously saw something in me at the time that I didn’t, thank god!

AC:         When contemplating a new piece what are some of the elements you need to   consider? I can imagine the important of balance and tension in sculpture is very different to that of painting or other art forms… SG:          The first thing I have to consider is will it stand up, the second consideration is how I can make it look like shouldn’t stand up. I love to play with illusion, to draw the observer into the work. After that I include layers of detail for added nourishment.

AC:         “The Lionel Rose” perhaps one of your most famous pieces and images of its construction are seen on your website, what did it mean to you to do such a public commission? SG:            Producing a sculpture of such an iconic character was a great honor and a challenge. It was an emotional moment to be with Lionel when he saw the sculpture installed in Warragul. Lionel died just three months later .The sculpture has ended up becoming the final part of the Lionel Rose Story.

AC:         What do you do when you are not working on your sculptures? Give us an insight into the other aspects of your life… SG:       Being in the arts is a lifestyle so Sculpture is never far away, but every morning, my lovely wife Linda and I , meet friends of similar life styles in our favorite café , in Avalon. It has become a social ritual that helps us stay sane.  I have also always loved American Muscle Cars, and I have a 1967 Pontiac Firebird, which has become a hobby and a challenge.

AC:         Do you listen to Music while you work? If so what are some of your favourite tunes? SG:         I always listen to music when I work, I can’t work without it. I am a big fan of Garage Blues, a contemporary version of  Traditional Blues, and some current favorite artists are John Schooley and his one man Band, T-Model Ford, Dollar Bill, Asie Payton, and R.L Burnside.

AC:         What do you hope your work means to your collectors? SG:          When I am finishing a new piece in clay, there is a moment which becomes intensely emotional for me. I know at that point that my idea is complete. I hope that some of that energy can be shared by my collectors

AC:         What or who inspired you to take up art as a career? SG:          It was actually my wife Linda (Linda Dry Parker) who is also a painter; she encouraged me to apply to go to Art College.

AC:         One of our art consultants at Red Hill Gallery believes that some of your pieces reflect aspects of your wife… what do you think about this and is there any truth to it? SG:         That would have to be true, Linda has perfect features. All my females are clothed. What Linda wears also has been a big influence.

AC:         And finally what is your favourite childhood memory? SG:         Not being near my father