Not there yet, but here are a few photos of my progress over the past few weeks. I think the correct term is ‘hoarder’… my garden’s been taken over and going a bit wild, but the good news is I have enough scrap steel now! I would still love to acquire some more copper – especially in sheet or bowl form – if anybody can help? Will soon be embarking on using my new plasma cutter, which should make the job much easier. There’s still lots to do. The real art will be to bring it all together successfully…
Pieces are steadily coming together. The aim is to create a mass of giant growing forms, inspired by lichen, linked to the Eden concept and utilising found objects. It involves hours of weaving, wrapping and forming, using soft and hard materials together, which is relatively new for me and occasionally I wonder if I’ll ever get it finished. Anyway, it’s becoming a daily activity and no matter what else the day holds, I try to spend a few hours on the Abundance work. I’m hooked on what I’m making, and what I would really like is to have no other interruptions but life isn’t that simple..
Earlier this week we went to Esotera again to measure the installation area and confirm a few details with Zoe. A landscape designer friend, Jason, came along to help work out where the grass might be allowed to grow a little, in order to create more of an enclosure for the work. Owners Andrew and Shirley have been very accommodating with this.
On reading the other Abundance artist posts, I like the idea that there seems to be several crossovers in our work; connections which somehow tie the Trail together.
I’ve been gathering scrap materials from pockets of Somerset to use in my work at Esotera. Dragging rusty barrels from woodland walks, corrugated steel fences no longer required for guinea fowl and rummaging through skips and scrapyards to add to my collection of materials, in line with the ethos at Esotera of utilising found and recycled items.
They don’t look much like artwork yet, but planning to transform them into something with more form and colour in the coming months, together with other mixed media such as wire, copper, twine, wool, netting… Looking for yellow netting and copper (sheet, piping and wire) at the moment, if anyone has these spare to donate?
Today was a perfect day to revisit Esotera. My first visit with Zoe was on a grim winter’s day. But today blazing sunshine had brought out new flowers from bulbs, ferns were unravelling, ducks, chickens, fish and a very sociable cat ‘Gengis’ were all glorifying our brilliant 1st of May.
As I wandered around, I could understand why Esotera gets so many visitors who stay for hours. The owners and garden envelop you into their world – a place at peace with itself, whilst buzzing with the magic of life and I found it hard to leave! Undecided about the exact location of my installation, with several possibilities, I took plenty of photos and absorbed the ambience. It helped to confirm my ideas for the project, and 3 hours later I left, armed with a load of reclaimed materials for my work there, generously donated by the owners Shirley and Andrew.
The work begins!
A friend pointed out this wonderful 5-page article featuring Esotera in Country Living (May ’13). It shows the garden I’ve been allotted in full bloom and as I’ve only seen the garden in winter, it has got me even more excited about the prospect of making some work here, amongst the elegant alliums and plum-coloured papavas. The article focuses on the creative collaboration between Esotera’s lovely owners Andrew and Shirley Harvey, their ingenious transformation of a field, imaginative use of reclaimed items and sensitivity to wildlife. And we are mentioned at the end!
It was great to meet and catch up with fellow artists and SAW organisers last week at the Spring Soiree and Abundance launch. I have been thinking about how to develop my initial ideas for the installation at Esotera. Having taken a few photos when I first visited the garden in February, I’ve since made some rough sketches which are gradually evolving. I’d like to create an element of surprise, use found and recycled materials related to the garden and make something large and challenging. Below are a few images of where I’ve got to so far: