Ray Brooks CV


Been a strange time since my very good friend and colleague, Ben Platts -Mills, died suddenly in November 2014.  Still been busy carving,  some schools and lots of big carvings in Lea Valley Park and Bedfords Park in London. A nice Earth mound Dragon in Dunorlan Park in Sevenoaks.

Also made a new Bandstand Stage for Michael Eavis at Glastonbury – with Ian Wimbush – Mostly steel !!

Easing of a bit now, sort of transitioning from the noisy and very physical work of chainsawing and outdoor constructions towards working with people again, been training in Energy Healing and Reiki.

2000 to 2010

I  still seem to be  busy with latest love of chainsaw carving ( click for link to www.treesculpture.co.uk) working in a field at Coney Weston in Suffolk – visitors welcome)

Over the last year or so I have done several projects working with kids in schools in Clacton,  Colchester, Harwich, Norfolk

A project for 2006 -7  was a big outdoor sculpture on the Lambton Estate near Durham . This involved creating a large Earthworks and twenty -four monolithic sandstones from Alston Quarry in Cumbria. 

In 2005 , amongst other projects , I was asked to create a War Memorial , part of a commemoration for the end of the 1939 – 45 war in Europe. As I am still, as ever , a peace loving old hippy, I did not feel I could do this , but did offer to build them a “Peace Monument” .

This resulted in some very moving and powerful work ,  during the days following the London Underground bombings , with over 800 kids and staff at Coppins Green School,  and a number of war veterans, British Legion, local politicians and councillors.
“Love Life , Seek Peace, Stop War “

Meanwhile here’s somthings I did  2000 to 2006

2004/5   Has been a time for focussing mainly on large scale wood/tree carving with chainsaws.  This has meant some  project work, in Kings Lynn, Clacton, Bury St Edmunds,  Market Weston, etc.,  a range of private commissions, and lots of  just carving and sculpting.

2004 – 5      Public Art     – Coppins Green School Clacton / British Legion , Peace Monument , ceramics project.

2005           Public Art     – Woodside School, Norwich.  Water Feature

2003 – 4         Producer/Director for new community based arts  project with Signals Multimedia  – in                                        Colchester.    My first Film derived from big outdoor performance  with 5 schools/1000                                      children and community of 3 villages in Essex                   

2003 – 4       Harwich Charter 400 –  Lead artist/manager of community art project to

              create new artworks in 2004. #

2002 – 3      Public Art – Ollerton, Notts.        Working with community and school to create  new sculptures for the Dukeries Centre.  #

.2002 – 3      Public Art – Catton Grove School, Norwich . With school and Architects to design and create a  ‘Secret Garden’, chainsaw carvings in Oak and Cedar, sculptural seating , mosaics., water feature

2002 – 3      Public Art – Thameside School, Essex. Outdoor  interactive sculpture project. Mosaics.

2002 – 3      Public Art – North School, Colchester.  Design and creation of artworks for new school extension.

2002           Jubilee Fire Sculpture. Needham Lakes Festival.

2002 – 3      HOO Sculpture Trail – Project manager and new chainsaw sculptures for ‘Hearts of Oak’ , Suffolk..#

2002           Jubillee Arts Carnival – Boreham Village, Essex. Director and lead artist for event involving 800 people/children, six artists/musicians. Sourced Lottery funding for project.#

2001 – 2      Artist Consultant – Essex County Council. A major long-term project working with a team of Architects and building cotractors on the design and integration of artworks into the buildings and grounds of the new Debden Park High School. Work includes : design of fencing, internal flooring and walls, outdoor mosaics and  carved oak seating . Included commissioning five other artists for sculptures.

2001           Lead Artist – Design and creation of lanterns for the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

2001           Community Project – Creation of ‘Human Sundial’ at Cressing Temple, Essex #

2001           Residency – Burnt Mill School, Harlow. Essex.

2001           Public Art – ‘Stupa’ – En-situ ceramic firing at Tuttington, Norfolk.#

2000                Exhibition  – Glazed ceramics, tour of Essex Libraries

2000           Residency/Public Art – Project with the National Forest at Ellistown, Leics. Creation of a Village Feature involving community  and children with the local brickworks and builders.#

2000           Millenium Arts Festival –  Boreham, Essex. Artist consultant, fundraiser and lead artist on lottery funded project     Village sculpture, mosaics and music event with local composer.  #

2000           Exhibition –  Work from “Essentially Essex” project.’ First Site’, Colchester

2000           Public Art – National Forest, Marston Vale, Leics. Sculpture from locally fired bricks. With other artists.

# Indicates  some  community involvement ,workshops and participation.

And more , from  1989  to  2000

 Projects and Commissions    

1990    –  Trinity College Dublin – Scrap car sculpture.

1991   – Welfare State International, Barrow – “Golden Submarine” #

1992   –  Dublin 2000 Festival – residency for Bicentenary Celebrations

1992   – ‘Dragons Egg’ – Welded steel and aluminium sculpture containing self-firing     ceramic kiln and fire sculpture

1993      –  Belfast – Lead Artist –residency, community arts event.”The Last Ferry”    Welfare State International 

1993     – Sandbach   Arts Festival.  Giant puppets #

1994   – ”The Clayman”. Sculpture/performance –Suffolk/ Manchester/Notts #

1995     –  Glastonbury Festival. Site sculptures and events.

1997    – “Monument” Bedford.  # Ceramic and local brick sculpture with school input.

1997   –  Marston Vale Community Forest, Bedford. School and public art project #

1997/98  – ‘ Artists in Architecture’, designs and work with schools. For Essex CC . #

1998   – Elmswell ,Suffolk. A Brick path maze and mosaic sculpture . Community Arts     Project#

1998   –  “Circles” –  Exhibition  of ceramics. Eye. Suffolk

1999   – “Essentially Essex  Project with Essex CC with five other artist to create a multi-media cultural record and environmental art, for the millennium. Joint Exhibition.

1999   –  “Gormenghast  –    Model and set building for BBC Film production.

Public Art , Sculptures and Commissions

1989   –  “The Woolpit Brickman – ceramic sculpture and firing

1989   – “Medicine Wheel”  –  Environmental sculptures. Suffolk.

1989   –  ‘Riverside Festival,’ Stockton.

1990   – “Pride of Place”, Durham. Ceramics and paper kilns.

1992   – Water Sculpture, Needham Lakes Summer Festival. Suffolk/

1992   –  “Steel Dragon” – Chelmsford Spectacular. Animated 40ft steel sculpture.

1994    –  Environmental Sculpture.   –Sandbach – Cheshire

1995    – “Water Dragon”, Glastonbury. Public Art. 80ft sculpture /concrete and local stone on steel frame.

1996   – “Two Roses” Warwick. Special effects for Rock Concert.

1997   – “Bandstand” Glastonbury.  Welded steel sculptural performance venue. 30ft diam.

1998   – “Angel” — Somerset. Ceramic sculpture fired en-situ. 10ft

1999   – “Wild Horses” –– Halle Concert – Tatton Park,  Cheshire 

Fire Sculpture

1989 to 92     Alton Towers  –  Fire Spectaculars. Images and pyrotechnics.

1990            Riverside Festival, Stockton.

1992,4,6,7      – Fire Festival.   Carlisle Community. Sculptural bonfires and Images.

1993           – “Firebird” – London Symphony Orchestra,  Warwick Castle.

1993 to 1999  –  Halle  Orchestra  – Concerts at Tatton Park, Cheshire.

1995,96,97,    – ‘ Halloween’ – Fire structures for Annual Event –  Suffolk.

1992 to 98     Many other events in UK and Eire, working  with – Welfare State International,  Dragonfire, and Theatre of Fire. Fire sculptures  combined with large scale puppets and Mobile Images.

 Performance Art and Events 

1989       – “Golden Submarine” Barrow in Furness.

1990     -“Glasgow all Lit Up”.  Welfare State International.

1990       – Houghton Church Festival.  #

1991       –   “Earth Dragon”, Glastonbury. 40ft Clay sculpture fired en-situ over 4 days.

1991     – “Light up the Bay”, Cardiff. # 80ft Steel ‘Light Sculpture’

1992      – “The Clayman”, Suffolk.   Involved excavating old claypits to ‘Unearth’ the Clayman , dig him from the clay and fire in a brick-kiln over 4 days.

1991    – “Lord   Dynamite”  – Performance event – toured  in  London , Totnes and  Newcastle on Tyne.     Giant mobile  sculptures in steel and recycled metals.

1992     – “Walk the Plank” –  Theatre Ship.# Sculptural structures for performance.

1992 to 1998  – Annual  Dickens Festival, Rochester Castle.  Over six years , worked with ‘Dragonfire’, designing and building 120ft sets and giant images in Rochester Castle for audiences of 5,000 plus.

1994    -“The Clayman” – Nottingham and Manchester. Landscape sculptures and performances based on the “Woolpit Brickman”. Lottery funded.

1996    – “Transformation” Sculpture/ Performance –  Hartlepool .   Project Director and lead artist.  60ft floating sculpture with performers and pyrotechnics.