I grew up enjoying making things, mostly using textiles or paper. When I attended school in Glasgow I managed to get my Art ‘O Grade’ twice (one a failed ‘Higher’) but I realise now painting wasn’t really my ‘thing’. So I just went on making practical things for myself and family. Over the years we moved around finishing in Salisbury, England, where I realised I wanted to change my job. I decided to start again and in my early 40s attended Salisbury College where I gained an HND Fine Art and discovered sculpture. I went on to try various media but my preference was for stone.
Maltese Limestone is my favourite due to being able to use rasps and grit papers rather than chisels and mallets. I set up a small studio in 2008 on an industrial estate and continued there until 2019. During this time I exhibited locally and around local counties. Attending various events, including Art in Action, to demonstrate Maltese Limestone for my supplier was great fun and gave me the courage to start teaching others the joy of working with stone. It is great to see the delighted faces at the end of a class. Alas I had to give up my studio but it was fortuitous as this was shortly before Covid19. I’m now working from home and in my small garden.
When creating sculpture I work between realism, impressionism and abstraction, so you may find a life-like apple, a blocky rabbit or a lovely strange shape on display. I like to play with the size of things and find joy in miniature fruits and larger than life ones and condensing a story into a few pieces of stone linked together.
Using the soft Maltese Limestone allows me much more contact with the stone than I have using chisels. It means I have to feel the shape rather than just see it. The carvings are mostly minimalist and have only a little detail. The stone feels incredibly soft to the touch when it has been polished. A little bit of magic somehow.
Click here to see our selected works by Moira Ross