John F McLaughlin
I am a Belfast based full time Irish artist working for many years in a wide range of media but with a particular focus over the past fifteen years on bronze cast sculpture and landscape painting. Many years have also been spent in art education.
My sculptural work celebrates the complexity of the human form and the infinite possibilities derived from the natural world around us. The bronze pieces often evolve from the realistic into the abstract and expressive, with a range in scale from small maquette sized pieces to much more individual larger pieces. Work is often exhibited in local galleries and can be found in private collections.
A study usually starts with loose sketches and photographs as inspiration and recording, leading to experimental modelling in clay, wood, wax, foam or other materials working towards a final bronze cast outcome. The craftsmanship and rigour of all stages after studio prep work leading to the foundry casting and finishing stages, be that sand casting or the lost wax processes are fascinating and absorbing, as all stages have an appeal which is still very much informed by ancient skills and techniques.
The joy of making and being very much involved in all parts of the creative process from sketching and refining of ideas through to making and producing the final realised piece is very fulfilling. Influences include sculptors like Breon O’Casey, Ronan Gillespie, John Behan, Eilis O’ Connell and F E Mc William.
My painting has developed over many years of experience, with an emphasis on sketch book work recording, alongside photography and close observational and analytical studies of the Irish landscape using a range of media including charcoal, ink, watercolour wash. These annotated small studies are often worked up later to more finished outcomes on canvas. The work may range in scale from intimate studies to bigger more expressive pieces. Influences include T P Flanagan and Basil Blackshaw.