When I first heard one of Aaron McPeake’s bronzes struck, the sound transported me to a navigation buoy anchored at the mouth of Sag Harbour on Long Island. All that distance I thought, and the bowl still firmly on the table in South London. Some time after this first hearing I thought they must have had either the same or a very similar wavelength, the bowl, the bell and McPeake, that is.
“Cast” which is what McPeake’s bronzes and shadows are, is a broad brush of a word that takes us from lost souls on desert islands, to groups of actors held together by a script, through fortune telling and expulsion, to fishing lines. From hot to cold from containment to reaching out. It must be the cross between the energy that sits within molten metal and the use of the word in conjunction with a shaping process that enables it to connect the really hot to cool shade.
Sound, heat and light find their way to us through the air we breathe. Sound travels at about half the muzzle velocity of an AK47 bullet and light about half a million times faster than the same bullet, understanding what’s going on in an artists work I suspect comes more slowly.
What I like about McPeake’s work is the way it presents big themes in apparently humble poetically tied packages. Like orthodox icons his sculptures and photographs serve to focus our thoughts and to make us think reflectively. The chime and the shadow work within McPeake’s work, act, as passing distillations of their objects and in doing so, become in my mind mono-tonal auto-portraits of, both the objects and their maker.