Recently Simon was asked by the BBC to take part in a new show called Home is Where the Art is, which airs on week day afternoons. The show is a new format, and in each episode, three artists compete to win a commission from a mystery buyer.
The three artists meet at the buyer’s house and receive a brief and a budget. For the episode Simon was involved with, he was pitted against a stainless steel sculptor and an acrylic pet portrait painter. Three very different mediums! The brief was to create something that captured the spirit and form of the buyer’s beloved horse, ‘Dragon’.
Simon says of this process:
“We all got to snoop around the buyer’s house to get a feel for the kind of things they might like. We also got to meet Dragon, which gave us all a flavour of his temperament and form. Each of us went away after this and were asked to come up with a two minute pitch, which was filmed at a studio in Manchester. The buyer then chose two artists to create the artwork they had pitched, and come back in a few weeks to present the artwork to the buyer. The buyer would then choose one to buy! Nick Knowles is the host of the show, and made us feel really comfortable, and the buyer threw a couple of curveballs in by asking if any of us would be happy to change our designs!”
Simon was one of the two artists whose pitch was chosen to compete in the episode. He took around eight hours to carve a representation of Dragon out of cedar as his entry, capturing not only his form but his movement and character.
Now the episode has been aired, we can reveal the chosen commission wasn’t Simon’s, but rather, the stainless steel sculpture by Claire Bigger. Far from being disappointed, Simon shares “The buyer Delyse had a really difficult time choosing between us, but I feel she made a great choice, as I would have chosen Claire’s work!”
And not only is it a privilege to be invited to take part in something like this, but even the name of the horse has tied in with our ‘year of the dragon’ here at Simon O’ Rourke Tree Carving!
If you would like a portrait of your pet, Simon is available at email@example.com to chat about your commission.
This particular sculpture which features in Home Is Where the Art is today (April 12th 2019) is available for purchase. Please contact Simon on the address above if you are interested.