We are delighted to welcome Beatrice Hoffman to Talos Art Gallery Summer Exhibition. Beatrice creates stylised abstract and figurative sculptures, using clay and plasticine, to be cast in bronze and bronze resin. Her sculptures are suited to a range of contexts, from domestic to large interiors and garden spaces.
Commissioned to create bespoke pieces from small-scale private collections to a large hospital entrance centre-piece, Beatrice has exhibited widely throughout the UK and across Europe, and sold worldwide. Her bronze resin sculptures appear in publications to high acclaim.
“Creating my sculptures, I experience the ebb and flow of external sensations and internal moods and feelings more intensely; the seclusion of the studio and the seemingly repetitive working process of refining surfaces enables a mixture of compulsion and reflection.
Stroking, pressing squeezing , scraping shaving , hacking, slapping the form into shape, the completed sculpture contains , condenses and transforms the feelings that went into its creation , and holds them in one cohesive object.”
Early family inspiration
Beatrice Hoffman grew up in Munich/Germany, and arrived in this country nearly 40 years ago.It is then that she gathered the necessary courage to fulfil her long-harboured dream to become an artist. Three relatives in her family determined her to go ahead with her vocation.
Her grandparents (maternal side) were anthropologists, and had brought back to their home many African carvings, much of those nurturing her artistic inclination. The African sculptures she saw and touched, the craft of carving, and the rituals, meanings and myths entwined with these objects.
Her great aunt (paternal side) Lucie Rie OBE was a famous potter in the UK during the 1950is – 80-is , an emigrant (though involuntary) like herself, whose fulfilled life and passion for her own art inspired, encouraged and set an example.
The creative process
Repairing, Restoring, Improving old sculptures, Revisiting previous themes – with a new style, technique and new point of view induced by growing maturity has become a source of inspiration in its own right, not dissimilar to many artists before her. Beatrice Hoffman models her sculptures directly in clay, solid or coiled; or for the larger scale pieces, a steel armature is manufactured, covered with chicken wire, foam pieces and expandable foam, onto which the clay is applied. Such works are then cast into bronze or bronze resin. Wood and stone carving is also evident within her portfolio.
Beatrice Hoffman is deeply involved with the process of making. She wants to achieve simplicity and abstraction, to add intensity and clarity to her creations. She is fascinated by ”strong three dimensional form” searching for contrast between various elements of the sculptural language: convex versus concave; sharp angles and edges between surfaces, juxtaposed with smooth planes.
Spiritual & psychological influences
Some of her ideas for figurative sculptures derive from her other career as an arts educator and therapist, which makes her aware of the psychological and expressive potential of sculptures. She is influenced by the psychoanalyst C.G. Jungʼs ideas of archetypes, but equally by childhood memories of Sunday visits to a catholic church filled with Baroque carvings. She reconnects with the tradition of sculptures seen in places of worship, and works towards a spiritually potent image, used in the secular context of homes, gardens and public places.
It is those meaningful themes on the interface of mythology, psychology and spirituality that she is drawn to: mental states like inner strength, doubt or serenity; human identity and gender; relationships, including trust, tenderness, playfulness, ambivalence and maternal love – all of these, and more, are universal experiences that influence nurture and inspire her artwork.
She hopes to enable engagement and contemplation: for the viewer to find reflected in her sculptures a feeling, experience or preoccupation, and through this silent communion find empathy, solace, and understanding and derive some healing, internal balance and peace of mind. This is what makes her sculptures so perfectly suited for being lived and interacted with on a daily basis, in the house or in the garden.
A well equipped teaching studio enables Beatrice to share her passion for sculpting. With 25 years experience in teaching and art therapy she runs four regular sculpture workshops for all ability levels and bespoke workshops for friends and families.