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The difference between a theatre with and without an audience is enormous. There is a palpable, critical energy created by the presence of the audience.
Stones are checked every so often to see if any have split or at worst exploded. An explosion can leave debris in the elements so the firing has to be abandoned.
Some of the snowballs have a kind of animal energy. Not just because of the materials inside them, but in the way that they appear caged, captured.
Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood.
Photography is a way of putting distance between myself and the work which sometimes helps me to see more clearly what it is that I have made.
People do not realise that many of my works are done in urban places. I was brought up on the edge of Leeds, five miles from the city centre-on one side were fields and on the other, the city.
People also leave presence in a place even when they are no longer there.
Once the fired stone is out of the kiln, it is still possible to mentally reconstruct it in its original form.
Occasionally I have come across a last patch of snow on top of a mountain in late May or June. There's something very powerful about finding snow in summer.
Not being able to touch is sometimes as interesting as being able to touch.
My art is an attempt to reach beyond the surface appearance. I want to see growth in wood, time in stone, nature in a city, and I do not mean its parks but a deeper understanding that a city is nature too-the ground upon which it is built, the stone with which it is made.
It's frightening and unnerving to watch a stone melt.
It takes between three and six hours to make each snowball, depending on snow quality. Wet snow is quick to work with but also quick to thaw, which can lead to a tense journey to the cold store.
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