Julian Rena was born in 1965, and trained and worked as a chef in London until a severe car crash put an end to his culinary career. Gradually he began to make sculpture using a wide range of mixed media. For the past ten years he has worked almost exclusively with stone, drawing on his fascination for the material throughout his childhood. He has worked in Italy and India, carving and importing stone from both countries. Julian has worked in public and private collections in the UK and abroad and has undertaken a number of large-scale commissions. He has a studio in Wimbledon, London and is an Associate of the Royal British Sculpture Society
My current sculpture tries to stretch the common properties of stone, allowing me to address new subject matter. Among my influences are advertising logos, icons, fetishes, French cartoons, cosmology and 1960s plastic furniture. I particularly enjoy working with coloured onyx and alabaster for their translucence and varied depth of colour. The combination of coloured stone marbles, smooth and sharp forms, fat and thin areas within the sculpture for me has its equivalent in cooking. My work is abstract but representational: The ideas are represented formally and symbolically and the subject often springs from the differing ways in which we believe.