Art Words by Mick Peter

Work by the Glasgow-based artist is on show at Hospitalfield, Arbroath, until 31 October. The Arts & Crafts house, a former art school, offers residencies to artists, musicians and writers, and its grounds have recently opened to the public for the first time

Sculpture from the Gerroff! (or User Feedback) series

I make playful installations that incorporate imagery influenced by illustration and commercial art. My sculptures are often enlarged drawings, used to animate the narrative of my exhibitions which satirise the symbols of power and authority as well as art making itself. 

This is one of three groups of objects I’ve made for Hospitalfield’s sculpture commission this year. They’re all part of my project Gerroff! (or User Feedback), which is about how people interact with sculpture in the public environment. This group shows an absent-minded dog walker weaving through some abstract sculptures. He’s being reported for not picking up after his dog by a woman with a Neighbourhood Watch tote bag. I’m not sure Neighbourhood Watch do ‘merch’, but if they did…

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Sculpture from the Gerroff! (or User Feedback) series

My characters come from observing and drawing, filling sketchbooks. They’re often hybrids of different drawings – a head from here, some legs from there. I find Antiques Roadshow particularly good for the heads! When I’m making sculptures from my drawings, I scale everything up by ten, so the lines preserve the wonkiness of the original mark. It means you readily recognise it as a drawing even when it’s the same size as you.

The material I’ve used here is an acrylic composite. The line work has been engraved into it and inlaid with black; it means the drawing is embedded in the surface a bit like the writing in a stick of rock. The effect, against the backdrop of Hospitalfield’s beautiful garden, is to make it look like a giant collage. This is really enhanced by photographs (like the one you’re looking at), and I’m sure people standing near it who take pictures on their phones will appreciate that and have a good laugh to themselves about it.

Find more of Mick Peter’s work here.

Glasgow-based artist Mick Peter (right) was inspired by ‘how people interact with sculpture in the public environment.’

Looking for more? Hear from Soo Burnell, photographer