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Seamus Moran exhibition opens at the Royal Cornwall Museum
Seamus Moran, Decade, 2012. Photo: Bernie Pettersen.

TRURO.- When sculptor Seamus Moran goes into his local wood he is not looking for traditional sources of inspiration amongst the flora and fauna. Instead he is on the hunt for knots from dead trees from which he makes moulds – casting them in a mix of resin and iron and joining them together to create compelling works of art.

Seamus’s highly imaginative sculptures are on show in a new exhibition that has just opened at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro. With names like ‘If swallowed seek medical attention’, ‘Ship of Bones 2012’ and ‘Untempted by Heaven’, they demand attention and are, at times, quite unsettling. One, entitled ‘The Death of Me’, is the image of a skull which Seamus says is a self-portrait, representing what his head feels like as he prepares for an exhibition – so full of ideas that it feels as if they’re bursting out of his brain.

Seamus’s creations develop organically, taking on a life of their own as he transforms them from tree knots to often highly complex shapes and patterns.

“I’ve discovered a three dimensional alphabet of unique shapes which can be reproduced and combined to offer limitless possibilities,” he said. “Just as letters are used to form words, I use knots to form sculptures.”

Many of the pieces on display are imbued with a deep sense of spirituality and religious iconography. The leather binding and intertwined brambles on ‘Decade 2012’, for example, have a crown of thorns feels about them and Devotion and Violence No 2 has a clearly defined crucifix shape.

“As humans we are geared towards pattern recognition and see spiritual significance in much that is around us,” said Seamus. “I like creating objects that have a pseudo spirituality about them and I want my work to provoke a reaction, making people think beyond perceived reality and blurring the line where organic and manmade begins. That’s what my art is about.”

Sculptor Tim Shaw, famous for his sculpture of The Drummer on Lemon Quay, Truro, officially opened the new exhibition.

“What give Seamus’s work weight and authority is his search for increasing details and complication of form, combined with an obsessive need to fill the space of his imagination and search for perfection through the infinite possibilities that tree knots represent,” said Tim. “His sculptures reflect nature stripped to the bare bones – you just have to look at them and wonder.”

‘Random Precision’ runs at the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, until 26 January. Entry to the museum costs £5 per adult for a one year pass and is free to anyone aged 18 and under.

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