What I’m trying do is create something which has an iconic presence. By about the mid sixties my artwork had homed in on the female figure. I was kind of trying to develop a personal language for describing the figure, it was graphically flat and I, to describe volume by using the contours of clothing and it did seem to me that I was desperately wanting to make the figures real and if I cut the figure out of the canvas, of course it wouldn’t stand up, and I found out that obviously if you just bend the paper, crease it, not in any descriptive way, but simply as a structural way to stop it falling over, that something else happened and that kicked off a whole, you know, 20 odd years I’ve been making steel sculptures – what it did was that by removing my natural talent which is for drawing it forced invention.
The important thing was that I wanted the figure to have this kind of presence which wasn’t about my ability or inability to model in clay and so I had a standing figure made by a company that worked for a waxwork company and for window mannequin models and so on.
Then I realised that actually although the figure was rather well endowed, it had a very pneumatic breasts, that it still could be construed as a sort of surrealist idea that it was a, maybe a found object that I’d doctored and so on and so I realised that I, to avoid confusion, I had to present the figure in a way which removed it from that fine art connotation and so the idea of the figure as a table or a chair came to me and that’s how I made the furniture.
Of course when I’m doing it, I, you are wondering whether or not people will see it as art, you know. I knew they’d look pretty terrific and subsequently I realised that actually it didn’t really matter what people thought about it - I mean people might not like it, but that wasn’t the, it was art and so the sculptures were made very much to offend the accepted cannons of what fine art might be.
I still think that the work has quite a lot of power to it.