Artist's Intro

Ben Gaskell

Cubic BreakboxCapsule IIBreakbox with Bubble Crystal

Statement

I carved my first hardstone object as a young child, a sphere from a veiny quartz pebble from the river Wye whereby my family lived.

A love of nature led me to a zoology degree at Oxford, then on to pursue bats in tropical wildernesses worldwide.  While in Madagascar I stumbled upon rock-crystal boulders which led me to set up a hardstone carving workshop in Brixton.

Good craft in hardstone is forever slow and laborious. It is born of great patience. Modern mechanical ways still cannot improve on sensitive hand-rubbing with loose grit to create and polish the finest surfaces, in much the same way as was done in Neolithic and Pharaonic times.

My current work is pure of form, exquisitely finished, and broken.  It flaunts the uncontrolled power and beauty of fracture in Nature. 

These broken pieces are boxes too, like safes that have been smashed open. Un-hiding enclosed knowledge; freeing ideas; thinking outside as well as inside the tick-boxes we are commodified into by industrialized society. 

"Modern mass culture, aimed at the "consumer", the civilisation of
prosthetics, is crippling people's souls, setting up barriers between man
and ... his consciousness of himself as a spiritual being."

Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time.