Justin Gilday

Gilday sets out to create an investigation of the subject matter and to explore a depth of interest, as much as to create a piece of art. For him, the opportunities to see the insects close up and the exploration of the piece is just as important as the subject and the emotion of the work.

Simply put his work is the culmination of his life experience; ‘I learnt the basic techniques I now use whilst training as a dental technician, in combination with a career in pest control that has given me an insight into the world of insects and creatures. That isn’t to say the curiosity wasn’t there during my training; my chief technician felt that the only way to learn was to experiment and so I cast my first cockroach at the age of 17.’

Now he draws inspiration from the raw beauty of nature, which coupled with a passion for wood in its natural sculptural form he attempts to display a creature’s beauty. Even the malign wasp and hornet are intricate and wonderful to observe without the potential of being stung. But it is the simplicity of the materials, that allows him to develop the humour and emotional statements that more often than not are allegorical to life.

The artist uses an ancient technique to create the works of silver called ‘lost wax’. It involves taking organic matter and investing it in a plaster silica compound and then exposing it to a high heat to burn out the matter leaving a void into which molten silver is poured. The wood in contrast is naturally formed and the raw nature of it is not touched but instead arranged. All of the wood on to which the silver is set is a small portion of a much wider collection and passion for collecting.

ligia oceanica on bark

Ligia Oceanica on Bark
Salvaged wood with silver cast insects
Size : 300mm x 560mm


hornet on finger

Hornet on Finger
Salvaged wood with silver cast insects
Size : 150mm x 680mm


T: 01303 487 294

E: folkestone@lilfordgallery.com

 A: Lilford Gallery Folkestone
8 The Old High street

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