*IMAGES BY KIEREN L TILLY
After leaving school in 1984, I had various jobs in different fields of industry – none remotely associated with art, design or sculpture. During the mid 90s I was fabricating livestock handling equipment, fortunately as it turned out, next door to a well known Wagga artist, the late Michael Murphy. Amazed by Michael’s ability to transform steel into life, I was irresistibly drawn to creative metal work. Years after completing formal studies in the craft, I was fortunate enough to work in United Kingdom for a year with internationally renowned Artist Blacksmith, Brian Russell. Brian and I collaborated on sculptural and architectural pieces, including a number of public art pieces.
As an artist blacksmith with more than a decade of working creatively with metals, my fascination with the endless possibilities that forged steel provides continues to grow as my work continues to evolve.
My pieces range from the fanciful to the functional and are enjoyed in galleries, gardens and homes as well as public buildings and spaces. Whether I’m working from the blank canvass of inspiration or within the discipline of a site-specific commission, my passion is the constant – a fact I always want to be reflected in my work.
My main medium is steel – both mild and stainless. My palette also extends to non-ferrous metals (such as copper, brass and bronze), timber and stone.
Many of my sculptural pieces are designed for our great outdoors. Garden art has become increasingly popular as we Australians take advantage of our climate and lifestyle, opening up creative opportunities for me, and other artists and crafts people like me, in the designing of sculpture, fountains, furniture, gates, railings and balustrades.