Chris Crane takes much of his inspiration from British wildlife. This is where the idea for a piece of artwork can often start: an encounter with a hare, momentarily frozen before it flies across a clearing into the safety of the dunes; coming across a stag, which silently vanishes into the backdrop of the forest; or watching the dynamic grace of a falcon as it chases pigeons from the sea cliffs, or the entwined play of otters as they weave through lily ponds.
He first captures images in charcoal or ink, before he starts developing the artistic process before creating forms by arranging and merging pieces of steel.
Chris works mainly with reclaimed steel objects, rusty tools that have languished at the back of a shed, bits of metal that have washed up onto the beach, old farming equipment, and other remnants of the area’s industrial past.
The objects he acquires can also strongly influence the direction of his work, for example, when the shape of an object strongly suggests to Chris the part of an animal such as the snout of a Boar, a Raven’s beak or the head of a fish, he may take this as a starting point.
Although much of Chris’s inspiration comes from wildlife sometimes the subject reverts to complete abstraction, to enjoy the form created by objects fused and formed as one.
Born in Kendal, Cumbria in 1976, Chris lived alongside the river Kent as a child, where he spent much of his time exploring the river and the surrounding countryside. This is where Chris’s keen interest in wildlife began. He expressed this from a young age through drawing and painting.
Chris Crane studied Fine Art in Lancaster and then obtained his B.A. (hons) from University of Wales Institute, Cardiff in 2000. He now lives and works in Carmarthenshire, which has the the Gower peninsular and Pembrokeshire on its doorstep, as well as its own rich source of wildlife, making it an ideal location for feeding Chris’s inspiration.
Maintaining the materials needed to continue creating sculpture would not be possible without the support of local people and businesses such as Colin Hill of Tools For Self Reliance, Jim and Christopher Blackford of Argoed Autos, Eric and Jonathan Armstrong of Fframiau Murain Frames, Alan Merchant, Rosemary Mason, and my good friend Mike from, Solar Wheel Ltd., just to mention a few.