Ian Bell

Ian Bell

With an engineering background, Ian has worked in a variety of fields. In Tasmania he worked as an aluminium ship builder and during this time he discovered that the skills needed to craft ships were directly transferrable to sculpting wood. After completing an Associate Diploma in Art, Craft and Design, he relocated with his young family to the NSW south coast in 2000 and has been creatively working there ever since.

“Working with wood can be both challenging and rewarding. The challenge is gaining enough skills and knowledge to handle what the material demands. The reward comes from using those skills and knowledge on a path of creativity, improvement and self-discovery.”

The shapes themselves are intentionally kept simple to support the intricately carved surface areas. Attention is given to line and design elements including dark/light, large/small, rough/smooth etc.

“I describe the carved relief patterns as a pixelated distillation of naturally occurring design, and alongside this I leave areas of exposed grain in evidence of a life once lived. As time passes, I feel a deepening responsibility and relationship with the material. Most of my work now uses windfallen material I have gathered myself and I have also been lucky enough to know people who help me do this. I take pride in knowing that the process, from fallen tree to finished piece, lies entirely in my hands”.

Ian’s work can be found in Galleries and in international collections.