After careers in teaching, lock-keeping on the river Thames and wood carving, I returned to education to study at Hereford College of Art. It was here that I realised that I was woefully inadequate at trying to imitate nature, and so my work started to take a new direction.
As a child, having a few of something never really worked for me, whether collecting stamps, postcards, stones or shells, having hundreds however made life far more interesting. As an adult, I feel just the same.
I continue to be fascinated and pleasured by the art of collecting, it enriches every walk that I take and provides me with a constant stream of possibilities and material.
My sources of inspiration come from my immediate surroundings in rural Herefordshire, coastal walks and friend’s gardens. The materials that I use are there for the picking, but are determined, not only by the time involved in harvesting, but more importantly, by the seasons. In the autumn, sycamore keys and acorn cups are gathered before they rot, thorns are collected in the winter, after the leaves have fallen, and blackbirds and thrushes provide me with broken snail shells in the spring.
My work exhibits a desire to make nature a little tidier by sorting the collections into shapes colours and sizes, not unlike the stamp albums of my childhood. I strive for order, neatness and proportion; it is the only place that I feel in control of nature.
“In sharp contrast to the ephemeral quality one associates with land art, Max has managed to capture and encapsulate organic matter in a way which entrances and transports the viewer to the forest, seashore and countryside.”