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Chris Moss Wire sculptures of wild life

February 7, 2013

Chris Moss lives in Harrogate, North Yorkshire where she has a farm yard of animals that constantly live and thrive in her back garden. These animals are Chris’s creations, as she works with wire to construct beautiful garden sculptures, inspired by nature’s wildlife. I got in touch with Chris to discover a little about her work.

Can you tell us a little about your artists journey so far and what inspired you to work with wire initially.

“My degree, many years ago, was in Fine Art Painting which although I completed it, left me with more questions than answers about my ability or desire to create.  The questions were put on hold for a few years and life and jobs generally got in the way of  finding a solution, until I started a life-drawing evening-class. These sessions were an opportunity to look and draw, a catalyst for exploration and expression without a fixed agenda.  During the same period, I spent a lot of time on sewing, knitting, embroidery and woodwork projects, all of which require a high degree of hand/eye coordination.  At some point I decided I was going to make a papier-mache figure and procured some random wire to make an armature.  Handling the wire was the turning point because of all the possibilities that became apparent.  What I loved about it was its immediacy, it’s basic and fast and as with drawing, there’s a direct via the making process to the end result.”

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She also makes wonderful indoor pieces, often centered around bird themes.

Can you describe your process of creating shapes from lines.

“If drawing is a way of understanding a subject by making an image of it, then the wire sketches are a natural extension of the same process, a way of drawing the world 3-dimensionally. When I add pieces of mesh to a wire armature it’s like sketching light and dark areas to bring emphasis to an outline.  Chicken-wire sculptures are like fully modelled drawings describing contour, mass and underlying structure.  Each sculpture is an original response to a subject at the time so that even when I work through familiar themes, I enjoy the potential that each piece has, to be different and individual. ”

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Her inspirational drawings and line work has a lively fluidity to it, which must help to make her sculptures spring into life.

You show a natural love and affiliation through your work for the animals around you. Do you ever have desires to work with more exotic animals or other subject matter ?

” I’ve a consuming passion to make sculptures of animals, both domestic and wild but mainly those that I’ve actually seen in the UK; I think this is based on the desire to capture the quirks and characteristics of an animal accurately, to give the sculptures life.  I’m not particularly interested in the exotic subjects so much as those that are considered quite common, which I can study easily.   I don’t think my need to make animals will ever diminish but recently, other ideas have been forming that would add new dimensions.  I’ve already made some samples of plants and flowers which will form the background to the small birds that I make from recycled or pre-used metal and wire.  In addition, I find myself thinking about the human figure again, but purely as a vehicle for costume, drama, colour and artifice.  People can be taken so much less seriously than animals.”

“With hindsight I’m making it sound like a more conscious journey and streamlined process than it actually was.  There was never a mission statement or 5 year plan, there probably should have been but all the meandering and experimentation has contributed to the sculptures I’m making now, both in my approach and the techniques I use.  2013 brings a cross-section of gallery shows, private commissions, workshops and, for the first time, some school projects.”

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I’d like to think that in the evening, when no one is looking, these animals all run around the fields and gardens that they inhabit. lol

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Chris even has her own personal Narnia in her wintery back garden as you can see below.

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She takes on commissions of all sizes, so contact her here if interested. Thanks Chris for letting us all know a little more about your creative processes. Keep up the great work.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2013 10:09 am

    The little brids are stunning, I have seen some similar in the Leeds Art Gallery, but were very expensive. Deffo checking this out, the elephant is stunning!

    • February 7, 2013 11:09 pm

      Thanks Hayley, just realised from a message from Chris that the elephant isn’t Chris’s work (oops) will amend in blog. It’s still lovely and the birds are too. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Sue Brown permalink
    February 7, 2013 10:36 am

    These are just beautiful – love the final winter wonderland photo 🙂

  3. February 7, 2013 11:47 am

    Aren’t they lovely – I particularly like the sketchy feel and scrabbly wire work of the small birds; like drawing with wire !

    • February 7, 2013 11:07 pm

      Thought you might like these Sarah, didn’t your sister buy you a crow version ?

  4. February 7, 2013 3:15 pm

    I so appreciate all these interesting artists and their work that you bring to us. It gives me my much-needed daily ‘art fix’ and fills me with inspiration!

  5. 54paintings permalink
    February 7, 2013 4:33 pm

    COR!

  6. February 9, 2013 3:03 pm

    Really like the work by this artist, very cool!

  7. February 9, 2013 9:53 pm

    Thanks for the great comments, if you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me. (Small wire birds start around £85 plus p & p.)

  8. paul stoker permalink
    June 11, 2015 5:05 pm

    Chris We saw a fox with white detail at Burton Agnes Can you let me know how we can go about purchasing a similar item -note we live in Cumbria . Thanking you in anticipation of a reply PAUL STOKER

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