Jamie Frost – The Way of All Flesh

July to October 2020

Sculptor Jamie Frost works in wood to produce expressive large scale representations of the human form. He leaves evidence of the creative process in energetic marks made by hand tools and machinery. Other areas are finely carved. The contrast of techniques conveys a sense of movement and  heightened emotion. It reflects the dialogue between heart and mind; or instinct and rationality.

The words we use with trees: limb; heartwood; trunk, are the language of bodies. The smell, warmth, weight, moisture, the sounds, while not completely analogous with human flesh, are heady and visceral. These sensory qualities heighten my relationship with the work and I see no reason to suppress this. I wish you to experience it. I love the qualities of wood when it is worked viciously- split, cleaved, dented and splintered, particularly alongside delicate sculpted forms. It’s a material of superb contrasts which can also be shaped with tenderness, revealing it’s vulnerability.

I speak about making connections with my work, of a desire to make a difference. That’s something best done in an emotional manner from the outset. It’s possible to analyse a facial feature or gesture and reach conclusions on the mood it captures. I’ve learnt to immerse myself in an emotional state and be led towards the incremental changes that affect an artwork’s power. I know that the shape of an eyelid can make all the difference. I have to trust that I can guide the work by simply ‘feeling’ my way there. Relying on instincts and eschewing the cerebral sounds dangerously mystical to me, a confirmed cynic. We rely on muscle memory to perform actions. Perhaps it follows that a certain amount of emotional memory might be required in the making of art, to draw upon a recollection of things felt.”