ARTISTS STATEMENT ‘PARIAH HEADS’
My work is concerned with the disenfranchised and dispossessed in society. People, who perhaps through no fault of there own, have become marginalised. It is a fact that many young men in prison have learning difficulties such as dyslexia. If a child does not have engaged parents who are able to support their child or if the school is unable to help, that child repeatedly fails and this erosion of self esteem can lead to the need to be validated by those with different standards. As a teenager, that person can turn to gangs, to crime, to a society where he is no longer an outsider. Some heads are cast in reinforced concrete to represent the often decayed and neglected urban environment which engenders feelings of dispossession and alienation. I attempt to express the vulnerable side of my characters, haunted by lost opportunities perhaps, while rendering them broad and oversized in order to denote their strength and status. I have been asked, why the broken noses? I find that this device gives my pieces a narrative. A broken nose can be caused by many things, including violence, but also by accident. In the case of a fight, the aggressor may not be the person you would expect it to be. The ”Inner Walls” series represents those who have hit an invisible wall; a barrier to emotion, or to opportunity, perhaps. I do not wish to dictate how to read my characters, they are individuals, as we are.
Figurative Works Statement
The first inspiration for wanting to make figurative sculpture was as a child having watched the wonderful Ray Harryhausen films, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, etc. The stop motion animation of figures of myth and legend was a captivating feast for any young imaginative child. When my Father said that they were made from models, that was it. I was straight to drawing and plasticine model making, I was full on. Then I discovered Artists and sculptors whose theme of choice was the figure. From Michelangelo through to Rodin onto Germine Richier and Elisabeth Frink and all in between and after (still discovering). I am not only influenced by all these great sculptors but also by the forces of nature, eg clouds, plants, sea, landscape etc. As well as books; fact and fiction, poetry, plays and films etc. I express all these influences through my use of the male figure.
Artist Statement on Drawings / Paintings
Drawing is my first love. It is the foundation for every aspect of my practice, be it quick gestural sketch ideas for my sculpture pieces to closely observed detail work on a portrait or anatomical study. The complexity of emotions is the main driving force behind all I do.It is the portrait that has captured me at the moment and it is Rembrandt that has the most powerful influence on me. Whether I am working in charcoal, pastels or pens etc the important thing for me is to get across the emotional aspect of the work. I endeavour to achieve this through closely observed areas of focused detail that move out into small then bold gestural marks. This also enables the viewer to fill the gaps where by they also become part of the creative process which makes for greater engagement. I would on occasion even obliterate areas in order to train the focus on the features where I think the feelings of the piece are more strongly visible. It is through the use of the self portrait mostly that I feel I am more able to engage with the development of a piece, I will even change aspects of my features in order to keep a fresh approach to a drawing.
Marc Bodie was born in Newport, South Wales in 1966 and currently lives and works in Wiltshire, UK.
Bodie’s sculptures possess an emotional intensity, drawing narratives from poetry, social and political concerns and a close study of the Old Masters. The apparent physical strength of his masculine figures belie the fragility and vulnerability of his subjects, giving a contrast of darkness and light; and of suffering and hopefulness.
Suggesting processes associated with natural growth and change, Bodie’s figures appear as if shaped by natural forces: bent by howling winds, carved by waves or twisted by geological movements. At other times the crouching, huddled forms suggest rocks, clouds and plants. This connection with nature is often informed by poetry, most recently by one of Bodie’s favourite poets, Dylan Thomas, whose keen sense of mortality is inextricably linked to natural forces, a strong and deep influence on Bodie’s approaches to form. His process often begins with quick free-style drawings in response to a poem or idea related to current reading. These drawings are then translated into three dimensions.
The works are carved from stone or modelled using clay, then realised in bronze, bronze resin, where as his large powerful urban portrait busts are cast in reinforced concrete, concrete resin and, at times, incorporating rusted metal rods and graffiti. The choice of media for these strong yet vulnerable male heads is so fitting as it perfectly represents the urban neglected environment they come from. These are the marginalised of society through no fault of there own. Bodies empathy with these pieces is reflected in the expressive treatment through the addition of paint to stain and give an aged/ weathered a appearance to the concrete and at times knock through areas to reveal crumbling edges and rusted reinforcing steel rods.
In Bodie’s 2D work, it is drawing that is the media of choice for expressing emotions and situations we can find ourselves in. He takes the idiom of the self portrait as a starting point to develop a moving and understanding dialogue between the finished piece and the viewer, he does this through various drawing media pen/ink charcoal and pastels often working on areas of intense worked up detail which would then open out to expressive suggestive mark making and often bleeding out edges.
Marc Bodie has exhibited widely throughout the U.K. since 1993 this includes 12 years representation with Mc Hardy Sculpture Company gallery in London. Recent group exhibitions include Noon Powell Fine Art (2020 -2021) The Affordable Art Fair UK (2021) the Bath Society of Artists Exhibition, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath (2019); Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Abbey House Gardens, Malmsbury with the Cotswold Sculptors Association ( 2020 & 2019); Gallery 21, Salisbury (2019); Christmas and New Year Show, Axel Arts, Bath (2019); Art Parks, Guernsey (2018); Gallery 21, Salisbury (2018); Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Axle Arts, Tasburgh House, Bath (2018); Group Show, Bath Contemporary, Bath (2017). His work is included in numerous private collections in the UK and abroad and has been purchased for corporate collections including Singer & Freidlander Merchant Bank London.