Free-standing sculpture by William Peers
William Peers freestanding sculptures are primarily in marble, with the materials being sourced from Italy and Portugal.
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This twisting ribbon form takes on a figurative element standing vertically. Beautiful veining in this warm-coloured marble from Portugal.
This ring has really strong veining, helping to emphasise the twisting form. I have mounted it on a small block, but it might want a larger one if placed in a landscape setting.
This is the first of a series of four of these figures of eight on their sides. The treatment of the surface will be the principal difference between the sculptures. Here, the flat facets and hard edges harden the curves a little, making the sculpture at the more mechanical end of the spectrum of this mini-series of four.
A much softer form for the second in the series (of figures of eight on their sides), with the twisted rope feel giving it tension.
A line in space, like sparklers swung round in the dark, Kurro rests very lightly on a single point, giving a feeling of dancing lightness rather than heavy marble.
This is a balancing piece, folded in on itself. I enjoy the tension you get when two parts almost touch. The folding also allows for interesting negative spaces.
A very strongly coloured twisting form, full of tension – a twist upon a twist.
This sharp form grows out of the mass below – beautiful, but menacing too.
The trumpet head makes the sculpture so playful. We half expect to hear a toot, or a fanfare.
I have enjoyed the results of earlier sculptures employing this trumpet shape. This is a large version, the trumpet itself being much bigger. There is a quizzical, and even comical element here.
If the circular forms do not meet, they can pass each other and resolve in trumpet forms. They seem to relate like brothers.
These trumpet forms reach high. Although I discovered these forms as a handy way of interrupting a loop, they take on a quiet, different feel. Much more figurative and playful.
I have been thinking of a piece like this for a while. The looping forms balancing, but hanging below. If the form becomes a little figurative, it is reclining; relaxed.
The curves are so tight here, whizzing round we seem to have escaped gravity and earthly concerns.
A continuous loop, but very light on top and balanced on a beautiful lozenge-shaped base – like a half-sucked sweet.
The strong twist lends this sculpture springing, almost explosive, vitality.
Animating this twisting form at both ends becomes a dance that reminds me of Spain.
Here I have married two distinct forms, which is unusual for me. I must try it again.
Here I have married two distinct forms, which is unusual for me. I must try it again.
These soft forms balancing on each other are tricky to make look independent of one another, as they are made from one piece of marble.
Again, the interrupted ring. Here I have found resolution with a point and a fanning shape. I can almost hear her sing.
I love those Japanese paintings of waves. Formalised so as to become something new. Very active and leaping upwards with purpose.
Tal was the inspiration for the exhibition ‘A Line in Space’. I find this form fascinating, and have carved several versions of it.
This sculpture reclines, and I can’t help being reminded of Henry Moore. Are those languid limbs to some?
A double loop, almost touching along its length.
This is the most compact of the series and we are thrown off the scent of its regularity as it is balanced off-centre.
Loren lies back, and it is unusual in the series as the resting point is far from the centre.
At Sandlin the children danced in the dark with sparklers. The lines of the sculpture remind me of great sweeps of light.
Deceptively simple; this form is astonishingly difficult to balance. The weight is low and the circle eccentric, giving rise to the speculation: Is the irregularity causing the thinning? Or gravity perhaps?
The base with its two feet lends Lyra a figurative feel, and the unbalanced sculpture seems as if it is moving.
For a while Owello was too regular, too balanced. I pushed (not literally as you cannot push marble) one side up in relation to the other to give some restlessness to it.
One of the most challenging sculptures of the series, technically. I like the negative space trefoil.
Double rings almost touching whizz round on a solid base.
Almost round, yet a tension seems to exist between the earth and the sky. This ‘tug of war’ might have caused the thinning.
This is pushing the eccentric circle even further. Some convex forms become concave and thin at the point of most change.
Both irregular and balanced, the trajectory seems uncertain, hesitant and yet still as the weight is central.
Timolin is flatter and wider than Tasil and Tulla but with the same double loop.
Not one, but two, loops in space. Here I tried to push the eccentricity to one corner and let the rest be still.
A particularly lovely piece of Portuguese marble, and one of the first bases that moved away from the rectangular.
I have tried variations of this theme. Here the section is a trefoil and the twist quite gentle. I like forms that loop and trap the eye for a moment.
I vacillate between very regular forms and those that are less so. This sculpture was undecided for a while before I found this solution. I like it when a sculpture really is a voyage of discovery.
Elias has a change of direction. There were square edges that I took against and am happy I did. Now with softer lines I could concentrate on the balance alone.
Here the ring wobbles and the balance is sought from an unbalanced beginning. I had a real fight to make it work and now love the result.
Ideas often lead to variation. In ‘Carlow’ the structure used in ‘Galvano’ was reduced to points. The angular mechanical edges give way to soft undulation.
At least twenty years ago I carved this pattern in a relief carving. I wanted to try the pattern wrapped around a sphere.
Here, and even more tricky, I wrapped the same pattern seen in ‘Lynaeus’ around a ring.
This has a much more mathematical feel than most of my work. Actually the segments are marked out with string rather than with any fiendish mathematical calculation.
Here the twisting motif bends to form a saddle. Birds, weather vanes and horses come to mind.
Sculpture where there is no end to the flow interests me. The form circulates as do the forms upon the form. I was very glad to find a split piece of marble with natural rust staining, for the sculpture to sit on.
A larger version of ‘Lunasa’, sitting very happily on a rough piece of Tunisian Black Marble.
The twisting design adds tension to the ring and gives the sculpture power. I love the colouring on this marble.
This is such a wonderful material to look at but very difficult to carve. The twisting design feels very different on the dark stone.
I wanted to try a circular form with the same patterning and a smaller hole. The difference, in size and shape on the inside to the outside, is correspondingly much greater.
I wanted to see how the twisting motif employed in ‘Corinth’ would work on a vertical form. I left the top rough (as well as a small section of the bottom) to remind us that it was made from a natural material. It brings to mind an ancient architectural remnant too.
These soft forms, joined to make a ring, bring to mind all sorts of good things to me. Boiled sweets, polished pebbles on the seashore, old bars of soap, coins worn smooth by countless pockets. The more I look, the more I see. This idea led on to ‘Gamelin’ (below).
Here the discs are smaller up above, giving the sense that they are going right up into the sky.
After focusing on making circular forms with touching segments, here I am trying to simplify things with just three forms. Making each form work in its own right - as well as touching the others - is tricky.
The loop with a twist. Rarely is a sculpture interesting from all sides. This one is, I believe.
We look in inside this world and see a moon or sun. The inside form is balanced with the outer form.
A new thought, playing with this heavy texture to animate a surface. This is the first time that I have employed these wisps - animating the surface. Suddenly the wedge form becomes bristling or scuttling.
The texture, once more, giving enormous movement to this curling form.
With its multiple forms falling, or perhaps rising up. Is it growing or cascading? I’m not sure.
Very gentle and smooth on one side, and aggressive on the other. I am happy to have introduced this element.
Flowing forms from constraint to liberty. Reminiscent of ‘Kotori’ and birdlike figuration.
The very start of a series of sculptures, exhibited at John Martin Gallery in 2014. The fitting together of two forms. Is it a figure? This is the simplest - and to my mind - one of the most satisfactory sculptures of the series.
The first step away from the ‘alkathene joint’. The segments are separated from each other. Independent. They climb and twist.
The segments get very small and thin towards the top. Trying to reach upwards.
The first, smaller version of the ‘Stack of Books’. The forms are curved in all directions giving great animation.
Here the segments sit on top of one another like squared mushrooms. How it changes everything - making the underside curved.
The forms and symmetry of the void are nicely balanced here. I made a larger version of this a little later on.
This sculpture of joined segments leaves only a tiny hole in the middle. The strength and presence of the hole becomes as powerful as the forms themselves.