Much of my work over the last thirteen years has been stimulated by my relocation from England to California. Although winters are spent in Central California, I return each June to my studio in Norfolk, England. The sculptures, installations and works on paper, reflect the cultural differences I experience.
I am preoccupied with displacement from landscape and express this loss of connection through sculptures that explore and incorporate a range of different materials such as wood, alabaster, bronze and cement. There is a sense that humans once belonged to the earth, but have progressively lost this belonging, becoming urbanized and displaced. Mankind and particularly myself, is represented by animal-forms such as the brown hare.
"Once you have lived on the land, been a partner with its moods, secrets, and seasons you cannot leave. The living land remembers, touching you in unguarded moments, saying, I am here. You are part of me."
The themes running through my sculpture and works on paper are linked to nature and humans’ relationship to nature. The sculptures portray migratory passage, and the flora and fauna that form our understanding of landscape. Maps are incorporated into many sculptures representing familiar places on both continents, or sometimes a map of the night sky is evident which acts as a navigational guide for the journeys made by the animals portrayed. Laminated plywood, reflecting cross-sections of the earth itself, form boulder-like shapes circumvented by bronze casts of wheat plants complete with exposed roots. Other grains such as oats and barley are represented, cast in white cement, and fragile grasses gone to seed are preserved in bronze.
The works on paper are made in parallel to the sculptural works. I use collected earth to stain the paper in these works and work on top of this using watercolor, pencil and printed forms. Imagery portrays both nature and man-made elements associated with it. Trees, tools, birds and grains are represented and placed within a landscape space. Scale of objects is dictated more by their importance than by their real size.
"Even when Gordon Senior was thrown off balance by the displacement and culture shock he felt moving to America, the core of his naturalist sensibilities continue to be seen in his work. His pieces quietly prod the viewers to contemplate their place on earth and their relationship with fellow inhabitants – the animals. By elevating these commonly overlooked creatures into the realm of art, Senior masterfully pods the viewer to consider their equal importance on this earth."