John Goodliffe

John lives and works in Dorset. He carves in the local stone, i.e. Portland and Purbeck limestones. Although he has always drawn and painted he began carving stone in the early 1990’s, doing carving workshops as his summer holiday. In 2005 he retrained doing the Bournemouth University and Weymouth College “Architectural Stonework and Building Conservation” degree course. Alongside the modules of architectural history, geology, planning law, context research, were the significant practical components of masonry, carving and letter cutting.

Since graduating he has worked as a building conservator, researcher, designer, carver and sculptor.

John’s sources are wide and varied. He is inspired by the early medieval art (Saxon and Romanesque) of Europe and the Byzantine, and by world ethnic and tribal art. The visual kinship that the three dimensional artefacts of different cultures exhibit is a continuing interest . Perhaps this is not so surprising: Homo Sapiens Sapiens is genetically a very homogeneous species. The meaning and significance assigned to them is, of course, another matter. Also, fascinated by the natural and complex mathematical forms, for example, the double helix of the DNA molecule, he explores such forms as in “Building blocks – AT”. . This carving is set out and carved from a single solid block of stone.

Recently, and on exhibition during the 2014 Dorset Art Weeks, he has been making smaller sculptures in Purbeck marble. The sources for these are the female form and the Greek Cycladic votive figures of c2000-3000BC .

Many pieces are commissioned work, and include public sculpture for the Park Rd development on the Isle of Portland , three 2x1 metre panels depicting Portland people and history, and the ‘Animal’ frieze for the rebuilt Burwood Nursing home in Broadstone, Dorset . Private commissions include a garden ‘altar’, bird baths and even a cat shaped seat .

His work is in collections in England, Wales and British Columbia.