Nicholas Durnan

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Artist Statement:

I began working with stone as an apprentice stonemason at Canterbury Cathedral and then went on to study carving at the City and Guilds of London Art School. I have worked with stone for over 25 years at Canterbury, Rochester, Wells, Exeter and Salisbury Cathedrals and five years ago that I started creating my own work in stone. I work in the soft limestones of England and France which offer a rich range of pale colours and textures. I like the white and yellow creaminess of these stones and the way they cut so easily under the chisel.

My Designs
My designs bring together my lifelong interest in geometry, my love of carved ornament especially Romanesque and ancient Indian stonecarving and my fascination with botanical and marine forms. The designs for my work evolve through studying the underlying geometry of natural forms. I am drawn towards the infinite variety of shapes, sizes and arrangements of leaves, petals, flowers and the patterns found in marine creatures. Each life form, although different, is seemingly bound by geometric rules which dictate shape and pattern and yet allow an endless variety of curve and twist and undulation of form and line. This year, 2005, my work is moving in a figurative direction expressing the subtleties of the face.

A commission to carve a life size Buddha statue in 2000 was followed by a journey to Goa and Karnataka in 2001 meeting Indian stone carvers and visiting the ancient temple sites of Hampi, Aihole, Pattadakal and Badami which proved a highly inspiration experience. My most recent commission was to carve a sculpture entitled ‘Willow Leaves’ which was inspired by the beautiful gardens of Dillington House in Somerset.

Nicholas Durnan


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