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Love is a burnin' thing,

And it makes a fiery ring

Bound by wild desire

I fell into a ring of fire.


I fell into a burnin' ring of fire

I went down, down, down

And the flames went higher,

And it burns, burn, burns,

The ring of fire, the ring of fire.


The taste of love is sweet

When hearts like ours meet.

I fell for you like a child

Oh, but the fire ran wild.


I fell into a burnin' ring of fire

I went down, down, down

And the flames went higher,

And it burns, burn, burns,

The ring of fire, the ring of fire.


I fell into a burnin' ring of fire

I went down, down, down,

And the flames went higher,

And it burns, burn, burns,

The ring of fire, the ring of fire.


Johnny Cash


Going into a sculpture class for the first time was hugely exciting and enjoyable for me.

The work here was created towards the end of second year. I wanted to work with metal and wood. Over the year, I researched the ancient South American Aztec culture. Sacrifice played a huge role in their day to day lives. The stone alters can still be seen today in the remains of the long lost cities.

I also looked at our own cultural ideas of sacrifice, the ultimate weapon of sacrifice hanging over the human race – the nuclear deterrent.

The oak block and the round steel balls are my interpretation of a sacrificial alter. The steal balls being the atoms split in nuclear fusion reaction, sticking to the natural wood block.

I photographed the work at a beach, near where I live.
A further visual development of the initial idea


In second year, I experimented with all sorts of materials, wood metal, plaster and clay.

The work and ideas of Antony Gormley has inspired me greatly, in particular the 1994 Field for the British Isles project – 35 thousand clay figures all packed together, staring at you. A truly awesome creative work and project.

As a test, I initially made 10 'wee clay figures'. A family, if you like. When I looked closely at them, they all had very individual expressions and characters. I then went on to make around 600 figures. Culminating in a 'special one'. A gold icon, like the ancient South American Aztec people might have worshipped. Like ancient and modern cultures, there seems to be a need to worship a god, a sportsman, musician or something. Through history people have needed icons or visionaries, whether they are good or bad it seems to be a fundamental aspect of human nature.


This is some further clay heads I experimented with during my research of Aztec cultural practices, etc.

I made (cut) several oak blocks. The work here depicts another idea of ancient South American culture. I used a router for the first time. Boy – is oak a hard wood or what?


This is part of my end of simester exhibition in DJCAD.


At the end of first year (going into 2nd year) we were given a brief to comment on the London Olympic Games – over the summer break. I love sport, especially football. Ross County forever...

Anyway, I was a bit bemused and intrigued that a fast food chain was one of the major sponsors of the London Games. Ironic or not? I created the iconic Olympic rings in 'chips'. I love chips as well by the way...


I also wanted to create my version of the olympic flame, in the form of the 5 rings. I went the recycling dump and picked up 5 bicycle wheels. I took the hubs out of the wheels and discovered the tiny ball bearings. As you can see below.

I then had great fun at my local beach setting fire to the wheels. At one point the sea was on fire. Some of the people on the beach thought I was doing something 'official' for the games. Ha-ha...


Have a look at our group film project created for Time Based Art. We had a great time making the movie.

Created by: James Ritchie, Robbie Gray, Maddie Coussens, Jenifer Galbraith and Deborah Chapman.

It's about a hungry Crocodile who lives in the woods and has to find his way to the city and conform to society to get a basic need such as food.


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James Ritchie BA (Hons) Fine Art – Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design Dundee.