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Amanda Sumpter

Stillness 2024

Stone carvings

To talk about Amanda Sumpter’s work is to talk about start points and end points. Each new sculpture starts with a drawing, but this quickly becomes secondary to the dynamic process that begins to happen the minute she picks up her chisel to carve. Each accidental mark or the unexpected relationships that develop between the curves and planes of a piece start to define what is needed for the carving to reveal the energy which lies just beneath the surface of the stone. As she works forms move in and out of focus. There is something organic and familiar about these shapes but they are never explicit. They suggest a softness that belies the inherent hardness of the stone and, for her, this is essential to each piece… ‘I have always wanted to create carvings that you want to touch and hold in your hand as you explore the surface, with its splits and folds and swellings, hinting at an energy frozen and suspended within the stillness of the stone. If there is no temptation to touch, the piece has not been fully realised.’

Although each sculpture is created as a single object, the importance of siting pieces - in isolation, with another sculpture, or next to an object or material with a strong and specific autobiographical connection – has always been an essential part of the process. For her it is just as intuitive as the making… ‘relationships are created which just feel right.’

Taking this a stage further, she has recently started to carve and manipulate the slate plinth that a carving will sit on. The slate folds and slumps. Both the carving and plinth have become sculptural objects and one needs to relate to the other for each piece to work. Considering the neutral, often ignored space between the two is essential and further possibilities to explore line and form, rhythm and balance very much come into play.



Amanda’s paintings come from a quiet but constant preoccupation with what is lost as memories fade. 

The notion of what is real and what is imagined as we return again and again to half remembered histories informs her practice as a painter and as a carver. The found materials and objects that she uses as she works have a certainty – they can be relied on. Each piece of slate, lead and rusted metal has a physical connection to a real person, time and place now lost. They are tactile aide memoirs. Each new painting is created taking the dimensions and scale from these objects as a starting point for the shapes used and the marks made as the layers build and are over-painted hinting at what might lie beneath each deceptively simple piece.

Click images for details and if you are interested in any of Amanda Sumpter's work please enquire below.

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