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Pete Moorhouse specialises in creating steel sculpture for the outdoor environment. His sculptural practice encompasses abstract and contemporary figurative work. Pete studied sculpture and contemporary art theory and practice at Bristol School of Art and Design. Pete’s work has won many awards and he has been selected for several prestigious public commissions. He is a Churchill fellow, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a honorary research fellow at Bristol University. Pete exhibits regularly and has work in many collections both in the UK and overseas.
Pete has undertaken many prestigious public art commissions around the country for hospitals, cycle paths, libraries, and schools. Emphasis is placed on public consultation and community involvement in public art projects. Commissioners include Rolls Royce, The NHS, John Lewis, Unilever, IKEA and many local authorities.
Innovation is important to Pete and he is continually experimenting with new concepts and forms of sculptural expression as well as investigating new processes and techniques. He was awarded a research and professional development grant from the Arts Council to investigate and develop new innovative practices. See Pete’s artist statement for more about his inspiration.
Pete’s sculptures have also been used in many different cultural contexts such as for costume design for the Brazilian National Opera, for ambient sound creation by Deep Flower exploring the sounds the sculpture make, for television sets and lending inspiration for jewelry design.
There are two conceptual elements that are integral to the aesthetic of Pete’s work. Negative space and reduction. Negative space refers to the spaces between the elements, the concept of ‘Ma’ from Japan – roughly translated as ‘gap’, ‘space’, ‘pause’ or ‘the space between two structural parts’. This spatial concept is experienced as a consciousness of place, not in the sense of an enclosed three-dimensional entity, but rather the simultaneous awareness of form and non-form deriving from an intensification of vision. Reduction is about embracing a minimalist aesthetic (‘Shibui’ – simple and subtle), avoiding the superfluous and hence reducing the work to the essence with out compromising content. The combination of these two concepts shape Pete’s work.
Pete is also dedicated to sharing his passion for creativity though his work in education. He specialises on encouraging and inspiring creativity within early childhood education, through research, writing, teacher professional development and conferences. Pete was awarded a national award from the Creative Learning Guild for his work promoting creativity. Visit his dedicated website for more information.
“Moorhouse’s work is restrained and rigorous. It is deliberately kept minimal avoiding superfluous ornamentation and distracting effects and thus has a strong impact and communicates clearly. The influence of Minimalism is particularly evident with their strict geometries, seriality and preference for monochromaticism, which emphasise the works form and content”
Museum of Modern Art, Wales
On the sculpture ‘Angel’, Pete says:
“I see the Angel as a symbol of benevolence, a kindly entity being guiding and nurturing.
It can be seen as a positive, uplifting sculpture giving hope and optimism and perhaps also giving the opportunity to reflect on spiritual concerns. The Angel helping us rise above our earthly situation and limitations. Angels, described in the Bible as the supernatural beings that surround God, are messengers ( from the Greek Angelos ) between Heaven and earth and are here to help people as a servant of another dimension.
The effect of the piece is in the calmness, the way in which the faces interact with the light and the gesture of the wings. The wings reaching upwards make a connection between earth and sky – bridging the two realities of known and unknown, seen and unseen. The work has a sense of mystery, as the angel is rooted in the earth rather than floating in the ether. Mystery perhaps reflecting the questions we all have about existence.
Six winged Angels are mentioned in the Bible called Seraphim in Isaiah., found around the throne of God. Two pairs of wings were to emphasise God’s Holiness and the other two for flying.
The sculpture pays particular attention to form and the work will play with the light as the sun catches the different faces of the steel creating subtle changes according to the time of day.”
See more sculpture here