On a family visit to Pompeii when a child the plaster casts taken of victims of the eruption made a lasting impression on Ian Middleton, and began a lifelong interest in casting processes. He grew up in East Anglia and spent his teenage years near Ely. The low fenland horizons silhouetting trees, buildings and agricultural machinery against the vast East Anglian skies shaped a perception which continues to influence his work. He makes assemblage sculptures casting bronze, cement and carved or constructed wood.
'My work is often a response to forces and events which shape our lives: politics, commerce, religion, environmental issues etc. Media images or 'found objects' with a particular 'presence' or resonance might trigger a starting point. The work develops through a process of chance and assimilation; different elements come and go as I explore possibilities, associations and juxtaposition as part of an evolving dialogue. A sculpture can materialise in a few weeks or gradually over several years. The work is not constrained by its beginnings but free to evolve independently while maintaining the intensity of its origins.'
Ian has shown extensively in the UK and had solo exhibitions at the Barbican Centre, and Norwich and Winchester Cathedrals. He shows regularly in group and selected shows most notably: 'Time and Process' at the Kube Poole, ' Sculpture a Spectator Sport' Contemporary British Sculpture in Bryanston Park, '20th Century British Sculpture' Millfield Somerset, 'Bronze the Sculptor's Material' Cleveland Gallery Middlesborough, Toyamura International Sculpture Biennale Japan, ' Remains to be Seen' the Institute of Contemporary Arts London. Arts in Hospitals Dorchester, 'Iron Tribe' New Mexico USA, Wells Contemporary Art, Discerning Eye the Mall Galleries London.
Ian studied at the Cambridge Institute of Education St, Osyths College, Sheffield College of Art and the Royal College of Art and was awarded an RCA Major Travelling Scholarship. He worked briefly for Eduardo Paolozzi before moving to Dorset. He has taught in a number of British Art Schools including Edinburgh and the Royal College of Art, and worked as a part time lecturer at Cardiff, Kingston, Exeter and from 1988-2005 at UCA Farnham. In 2013 he did a six month Fellowship at Chelsea College of Art UAL and was elected an academician in 2014.