Welcome to the website of Ken Prust
I live and work on the Isle of Wight, in southern UK. The maritime environment, and our engagement with it, are influential and inspirational in my work.
My materials of choice are those associated with fabrication; steel and oak with divergence into bronze, concrete and chalk. For materials I turn to my local environment and the provenance, and stories which, for example, lie behind pitted steel removed from old house boats and yachts, dismantled structures that have seen better days and beach finds. All bear the marks of time.
The wood I use is native to the Isle of Wight and predominantly aged oak.
In my recent, and current, work I draw reference from structural forms and materials of construction, our engagement with them and how, with the passing of time, these structures degrade and relationships with them evolve.
The compositions owe much to architecture. Tactile qualities enhanced and introduced by the processes of forming and fusion welding along with ‘chance’ and an ongoing interaction with the elements dictate the ‘personality’ of a piece. I do not envisage these works as existing solely for visual engagement and contemplation; touching is okay!
The website, like the works featured, is evolving.
Please visit again for updates and refer to contact information for enquiries, availability of sculptures, collaborative projects, further information, etc.
I am a ‘local artist’; local to Bembridge, on the Isle of Wight
Taking FSN 03 and FSN 07 from the Fusion series of sculptures as examples it can be seen that each sculpture can ‘tell its own’, very personal, Island of Wight, story.
FSN 03 ‘Serius’ – During the refurbishment of Bembridge house boat ‘Serius’ I acquired some sections of degraded steel plate, they bore the marks of wear and time from the vessel’s former use as a Scottish offshore fishing vessel. The main ‘face plate’ is cut from this steel. The work of the sea and time shaped the ‘screw’ that was salvaged from coastal groynes.
FSN 07 – The main face plate is from the old Ryde pier (constructed in 1897) and is cut from one of many steel elements replaced in the major refurbishment of 2011. The protrusions on top are from house boat ‘Fortune’ of Bembridge Harbour. They secured sections of the hull. ‘Fortune’ was formerly called ‘Neptune’ and at one time owned by (disgraced ex-cabinet minister) John Profumo. I bought some of the structural steel as she was being dismantled. The ‘arm’ section is cut from an Edwardian era two person saw; the sort used for felling trees or cutting large timber (on the Isle of Wight). It is one end of the saw and the hole is where one of the two handles used to be located.
The wood used in my sculptures is native to the Isle of Wight and predominantly aged oak. The vast majority of it is bought from, and cut to my specification, by the timber yard adjacent to my workshop. Here entire trees, all from the Isle of Wight, are cut as per requirements. When making a specific sculpture I heat treat and ‘work the timber’; a process which reveals the true natural structure and personality of the timber. Prior to sealing the ash resulting from this process is worked back into the timber.
When casting in bronze much of the ethos in my working with wood and steel continues. For the ‘collaged’ elements which are used in the bronze sculpture I look to nature as well as industry; impressions of seeds, twigs and bones as well as those of found items are combined in the sculptures.
Solent Forts – The Fort Series.
Living and working on the Isle of Wight I have for years been fascinated by (four) iconic defensive structures placed in the Solent more than one hundred years ago; the nineteenth century Solent Forts. Today, by Islanders at least, they are accepted as part of the seascape with, arguable, their purpose lost as much in the mystery of passing time as by the cloaks of seasonal sea mists.
In this on-going series of works I draw inspiration from the connotations, purpose, form and undeniable inherent strength of these, Solent sited, defensive structures.
‘The Fort Series’ (photobook of 40 pages, A4 or A5) is available for order. It illustrates, in detail, the steps entailed in making six of the fort sculptures. (POA)