“ReBar Godwit” by Jason Heppenstall
Born in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, I was brought up on a typical post-war council estate. Pre-Playstation and computer days, my friends and I would go down the woods, making tree houses and building dams. Kids at one with nature, even at a young age we were always creative. At school, I started my love of working with steel; I enjoyed the metal and woodworking classes more than the academic stuff.
After school, I took an apprenticeship in sheet metal at a local firm where I learnt my trade. I have been working with steel for nearly 30 years and the trade has taught me a lot about how sheet behaves and can be manipulated, and how it reacts to different treatments.
I started making sculptures as a hobby about four or five years ago, tinkering in the garage with random pieces of scrap, enjoying it more and more I made presents for family and friends.
A Facebook page to show my work started to get very positive comments, which gave me the confidence in what I was doing. I started to sell the odd piece and realised my work could be appreciated by a far wider audience.
I love looking for items I can use. We live in a disposable age and the things people no longer want become the building blocks of my art. These often include the tools of trades that now seem redundant. To use them to create wonderful sculptures from our industrial past gives me a great sense of wellbeing.
Because most of my sculptures are created from the very bedrock of industry which is being forgotten, they mean more to me, particularly as they are grown from the fusion of my art and trade.
The rural environment I was nurtured in really inspires a love of nature, free from the constraints of the ratrace we are trapped in. Combined with my love of art and the desire to use other ‘scrap’, I will endeavour to create sculptures that are appreciated for their aesthetic appeal as well as the fascination aroused from the eclectic components used.