Daniel Reynolds is a sculptor and ceramicist, creating abstract mobiles, lighting, and large ceramic vessels. His work reflects the salient movements of the twentieth century, paying homage to British artists such as Victor Pasmore, Patrick Heron and William Scott. In contrast, his ceramic technique draws a direct line to the ancients, resulting in ample forms, enhanced through the use of simple colours and patterning. Daniel's work has recently been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York.
Daniel Reynolds is a sculptor and ceramicist, creating abstract mobiles, lighting, and large ceramic vessels. His work reflects the salient movements of the 20th Century, paying homage to British artists such as Victor Pasmore, Patrick Heron and William Scott. In contrast, his ceramic technique draws a direct line to the ancients, resulting in ample forms, enhanced through the use of simple colours and patterning. Daniel's work has recently been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York.
Working primarily with hand building and casting methods, Daniel Reynolds incorporates porcelain, stoneware, and glass shapes as well as organic materials such as dried gourd to produce juxtapositions in texture and opacity. When working, Daniel resists the temptation to over decorate his vessels, aiming to make objects which have a strong and calming presence in a room.
1. What motivates you to make?
Ever since I can remember, I have felt great happiness when drawing, playing with cut-out paper shapes, or just thinking about what to make next. It is this which guided me in early adult life towards dedicating my career to the creative field. My parents’ encouragement in this (an unconventional path in my family) was from the start, a great motivator. I assumed that if they believed I had some facility in this field, I should try to prove them right and make for myself a career in art and craft.
I love the idea of creating something out of nothing. That a bag of wet clay can, with my input, become a beautiful pot which someone will cherish. The thought that perhaps it will last for centuries, is greatly inspiring to me. The same is true of my sculptures; be these kinetic, static, made of clay, wood, metal or a combination of materials. I look forward to the start of a new project, to the process of turning a sketch into something that will have real presence in a room and will give lasting pleasure to the end user or viewer.
2. What and/or who are you most inspired or influenced by?
I am inspired by the clean lines of artists such as Elsworth Kelly, Jean Arp, Anthony Caro, and Ben Nicholson, and the architecture of Richard J. Neutra and Oscar Niemeyer. For me, their work is a constant source of wonder and renewal. Other seminal inspiration is drawn from the work of the British Constructionist Movement.
Some of my early art education came from seeing the work of important kinetic artists such as Jesús Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Alexander Calder, whose work was readily available to view in the form of public sculpture around Caracas in the 1960s and 1970s (where I was born and lived as a child). With my kinetic sculptures, I have tried to reflect the love I feel for their work, whilst always using a visual language which I hope is my own. I have always been drawn to abstract sculpture and modern design. This stems, I’m sure, from the architecture of the houses we lived in as a family growing up, and my parents’ art collection – including their taste for mainly Scandinavian design and British and American abstract art of the twentieth century.
3. What is your unique approach to your craft, and how have you honed your skills?
Mainly I regard my approach, particularly to making vessels, as steeped in age old traditions of hand building, which are common to peoples around the world from the earliest times. I resist the temptation to over-decorate my vessels and aim to make objects which have a strong and calming presence in a room. The large ceramic vessels I build by hand affirm my preference for clean silhouettes and uncomplicated block colour, and aside from their nod to functionality, I feel that these pieces (especially when seen in groups) can also be regarded as abstract sculpture of a sort. My sculptures, kinetic and otherwise, are designed to create harmony within a space and a feeling of wellbeing in the viewer.
4. What is your defining or proudest moment as a maker so far?
I was very pleased to have my work included in an exhibition at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design in 2015 – 2017. The exhibition was called “New Territories” and it travelled around the U.S. and Mexico for two years. This exhibition helped to bring awareness of my work to curators and important collectors around the United States and Latin America. I also have pieces in private collections and there’s a sizable collection of my work, including kinetic sculptures and large hand built vessels, in several art hotels. Another very proud moment was showing a large kinetic sculpture, “Dreaming Dreams…” commissioned by Madeleine Bessborough at The New Art Centre, Roach Court. It was created for the inauguration in 2018 of The Design House, a new addition to this extraordinary gallery complex and sculpture park set in the Wiltshire countryside.
5. What is your dream project?
It is my wish to develop sculptures on a large scale which may be commissioned for public spaces around the U.K. and further afield.
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