Working predominantly in scorched wooden carving, Walter's pieces are hewn from the single trunk of fallen trees. His studio is open woodland in rural Kent, in a managed forest of oak, beech, ash, birch, elm, pine, larch, fir. His love affair with these materials emerges through the fine details in his work - the way that joining dowels are hidden in the knots of the wood, the way that growth rings marry up across changing planes.
Bailey's portfolio has long played with platonic solids; dodecahedrons, cubes, spheres created in complex lattices of curvilinear lines. Through the 1980s he worked very closely with the internationally renowned David Nash, who once said of Walter Ah, you've got a Celtic spirit...you're unable to carve a straight line.
This love of curves may explain the repetition of circles and swirls in his carving, however his work with over-lapping rectangles and sharp angled base shapes suggest that this inter-play is what fascinates him more than pure curves alone.
Their work shares a simplicity and confidence, large bold forms in charred wood, geometry and the organic fused. The gaps in Bailey's latticed works, through which you can see the landscape, blend the works into the scenery as if they are, in his words wearing the landscape or existing as a fruiting body of the landscape. The light patterns formed by these twisting lattices and over-lapping shapes create the most exquisite patterns, reminiscent of the way that dappled sunlight pours through his loved woodland canopies, which makes placement of his work an especially important consideration.
Walter has recently made forays into working with acid-etched glass and imprinting his signature patterns into concrete. The integration of his shapes into a broader range of materials is a very exciting development, we shall be sourcing some of the first iterations of his developing work and shall, of course, show detail on this site and at our upcoming shows.