Meet the artists: Ian Marlow

In the run-up to the Frome Virtual Open Art Trail 2020 we talk to artist Ian Marlow about his work, the impact of Covid-19 and his hopes for the future.

I’m Ian Marlow, a professional sculptor based in Buckland Dinham. A member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, I exhibit widely and am commissioned by private clients as well as corporate bodies.

Nature is the primary inspiration for my work. The texture I add to the stainless steel makes my sculptures shimmer, picking up colours from their surroundings so subtly that you hardly notice it. The patterns in the steel change as you move past, as the daylight alters and as the seasons come and go.

There is a bold freshness in the crisp stainless steel, and yet the hardness of the metal appears lost and unnoticed in the flowing shapes. The transformation from steel to organic form is almost magical.

Like many artists, the lockdown brought an abrupt stop to the business overnight, just at the time when the exhibitions were about to open for the spring. I had delivered work to two exhibitions prior to lockdown and they didn’t even open. Fortunately one, at the Abbey House in Malmesbury with the Cotswold Sculptors Association, has now started up again. But the spring months are when I should be selling sculptures. One exhibition moved everything online which did produce sales. I also had enquiries here, so all was not a disaster.

But I had lots of sculptures that were due to go out to exhibitions which are now just sitting here, filling up the garden.

How did I adapt to the lockdown? I just went with the flow, followed the path of least resistance, treated it like a holiday and enjoyed the time in the garden and watching spring unfold. The glorious weather helped.

It’s too early to tell how the pandemic will affect anything – we’ll just have to wait and see how things develop as the lockdown is eased over the summer months. I remain positive….can’t see the point of not being positive.

The first test will be the exhibition here. I had always planned to open the sculpture garden if the restrictions allowed it and they do, so I will be open throughout the festival period as before.

More exhibitions are starting to open, and straight after the Open Studios I will be delivering sculptures to Doddington Hall, Lincoln and  Borde Hill Gardens, Sussex.

You can follow Ian on Instagram: @ian.marlow.mrss or visit his website.

Find out more about Frome Open Virtual Art Trail or visit their website.