Barry Burns interviews Henry Piper at his exhibition in the grounds of Jenny and Mike Wake-Walker in Stratford St.Andrew.
As a son of the artist Edward Piper, and grandson of John Piper, landscape artist, Henry became interested in the construction and expression of his ideas and feelings through sculpture from an early age.
From 1988 to 1991 he studied Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences at Sussex university where these ideas developed. Having been ‘on the road’, from 1991 to 1994, in an old fire engine which he had converted into a motor home/workshop, he has settled at “The Old Laundry” in Somerset where he now lives and works.
Based partly on environmental ideals, Henry uses mainly discarded materials including copper wire stripped from electrical cable, parts of broken machinery and equipment, reclaimed building stone, empty oil cans, anything that inspires him to create. A huge variety of curios including faces, dancers, heads, strange creatures, mobiles, and abstract assemblages emerge from what would otherwise be discarded.
Although the predominant feature of his sculpture is visual, rather than conceptual and Henry would prefer his work to be taken on face value, some pieces evoke a certain depth due to the history of the materials from which they are made. Some of his work can also be seen as a representation of the dichotomy of human existence - what it’s like to be, in relation to physical being. Underlying all however, is a sense of fun.
His sculpture ranges from small to large scale, from steel and junk constructions to stone carving, from indoor to out and from gallery to commission, suiting work for people and to places.
Copyright. A BoMoJo production for Debem Radio CIC