Allen Horstmanshof the person and his work:
I was born in South Africa, the grandson of a professional landscape artist and general oddball. As a child I found clay deposits in the hills behind where we lived and made busts of people I had met.
Although I have had some formal training in art at school and college level, I find that I have learnt most from working with other sculptors, both Australian and international.
The nature of form, space, energy and rhythms are key drivers in my work. Although tending to the abstract, my work is usually starts with the human form.
I sculpt in many mediums using whatever material is appropriate to realising an idea. My preferred medium is stone, but on occasion I also construct forms using metal, concrete and pulped paper. Occasionally I will use clay, or other modelling mediums.
When beginning a sculpture, the material chosen for the work has a significant influence on both the way the idea is developed and on its execution. I enjoy the paradox of mindfully imposing a design on a material only to find it being altered by the spontaneous discovery of what occurs while I am working the material. This dialogue between artist and material seems to me to be the essence of the difference between art and design.
When a viewer feels compelled to touch my work, I feel that my mandate as a sculptor has met with some measure of success.