Darren Yeadon served his apprenticeship as a stonemason at a quarry in North Yorkshire. This laid the foundations for his subsequent work as a sculptor. It was there that he learnt to quarry, cut, and dress stone. And it was there that his natural talent for carving was first recognized and encouraged. It is the complete mastery of his materials, learnt through years of hard graft, that enables him now to transform a piece of stone into what his creative imagination decrees.
In the last year, Yeadon has worked at the marble quarries in Carrara, Italy, and now sculpts almost exclusively in this medium.
Stone and marble are timeless and hard. They are also unforgiving, one-chance materials. Yeadon works these from the outside to reveal the possibilities of what lies hidden within. Carving from the block and being solely responsible for each finished sculpture, his prolific output is suffused with wit, honesty and integrity. His work entails infinite patience, requires consummate skill, involves total concentration and demands complete dedication. The tools he uses are sledgehammers, mallets and chisels. The theme that exercises his imagination is nature.
Sculpting in stone has been an established art from since the dawn of history and before, but recently it has almost come to the point of extinction. One of the many virtues of Yeadon’s work is that it helps reinvigorate this nearly lost tradition. His work also possesses great powers and great beauty, as does the stone and marble from which it springs.
When Darren was 23, he was involved in a serious car accident. He was not expected to live. Eventually he came out of a coma and was confronted with total amnesia, had lost the power of speech and was unable to walk. Most people thought he would spend the rest of his life in a vegetative state. But slowly he pieced himself together, and, while still in his hospital bed, made the decision to become a sculptor. That was over 15 years ago, and it was a decision that changed his life.
Self-taught, self-motivated and self-believing,
(by J.Beattie, from House of commons exhibition program January 2004.)
Darren works in Carrara Marble, Sandstone, and most recently Preseli Bluestone.