Lichen goes to GROW London

Lichen has now moved to GROW London for a 3-day event with Maureen Michaelson Gallery, on Hampstead Heath – with a very positive reception!

Lichen loaded, ready to go

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Of Form and Texture

A new exhibition starts this Saturday entitled ‘Of Form and Texture’ at Sidcot Arts Centre, in which some of my work will be on show as part of a selected group:  Diane Burnell, Sara Parsons, Debbie Lamb and Laura Howarth are also taking part.  My Lichen piece – made originally for the Abundance commission (Garden of Eden) – has now been re-installed as part of the exhibition.  It took nearly 2 days to install (thanks to the help of friend Nigel Evans), but is now up and ready for the Launch event on Saturday.  It’s interesting to see how it changes – a re-invention each time I install.

Lichen - re-installed at Sidcot Arts Centre

3 of my sculptures have been on show outside the entrance of Sidcot Arts Centre since February, the first set of work for their new Outdoor Sculpture Programme.  One of these featured pieces is Giant Nest – also created originally for the Abundance commission (Garden of Eden).  

Giant Nest on exhibition at Sidcot Arts Centre

 

Below are details of the exhibition – please come along!

Sidcot '14 poster

 

Labour of love come to fruition

Garden of Eden

The last fortnight has been a rather mad whirlwind leading to SAW’s opening, managing both my venues between other day-to-day commitments, testing my sanity.  Miraculously, the Garden of Eden came together on time.  With the support and help of good friends and a few late nights finishing off, I managed to complete my 3  installations at Esotera, set up at Thornreed Studio (venue 94), get to the Abundance micro feast at East Lambrook, do a talk and workshop on the first Saturday and thoroughly enjoy chatting to visitors for the past week.  Thanks to Pauline Watson and team, the Harveys (owners at Esotera) and Hicks & Don (wine sponsors) for their hard work, food and drink contributions to the private view, it was a lovely event.

I asked a photographer (from 35mil) to take some pics of the work.  We re-scheduled 3 times due to poor weather and it was third time lucky when the sun finally broke through after a dull, cold day.  Dappled sunlight heightens the enchantment on the largest piece – lichen-inspired work set in a copse of silver birch trees.  What’s really needed now is more sunshine to do its magic over this last coming weekend to encourage a wider, more abundant audience.

I’ve received many appreciative, insightful comments about the Garden of Eden and yesterday was a particularly good day at Esotera, with a large range of visitors of all ages.   A friend even made a visit from above in a glider.   Grass is starting to grow through my main installation, and although I regularly collect some of the leaves/debri that fall onto the work (especially after high winds last week), they almost enhance it.   The work is settling into the site – perhaps it should remain a permanent feature!   Gengis the cat is enjoying the extra attention and Scruffy – one of the free-roaming chickens – has an odd habit of pecking at visitors’ feet/legs!   Ahh sweet!

I am feeling positive about the whole experience, apart from poor weather at times bringing less visitors (and a few recoiling when faced with the NGS entrance fee).   It has been hard work, challenging, great fun, addictive even – and I think, successful.

Garden of Eden - detail Garden of Eden nestled amongst silver birch trees

Garden of EdenDetail DetailLichen-inspired formsDetail

Garden of Eden

Detail DetailEnclave of lichen-inspired piece with silver birch treesDetailDetailIntrigued free-roaming chickenGarden of EdenGiant Nest   reclaimed copper wires, twine and old light bulbsGiant NestGiant Nest - detail (reclaimed copper wires, twine and old light bulbs)Giant Nest - detailGiant Nest - detail   reclaimed copper wire, twine and light bulbsSerpent and fruitSerpent and fruitSerpent's crown - made from an old shower head, reclaimed copper wire & beads.  Inspired by Bosch's Satan in Garden of Earthly delightsIMG_7476Boy spots snakeWorkshop at EsoteraParticipant's work in progress - workshop at EsoteraNesting pigeon at Esotera - drawing by Fiona whilst manningGengis - rarrScruffy pecking

Donors

In addition to collecting materials on walks in the area and at Pylle scrapyard, my work has relied on the kindness of numerous local donors, who have given me recycled materials and/or their time.   A huge thank you to the following:  Sam Garland, John Shepherd Feeders, Ridgeway Garage, Station Road Garage, Pete Reakes, Fon Cosens, Somerset Earth Science Centre, Andrew and Shirley Harvey, Vicky Grinter, Georgia Grinter, Caroline James, Jason Nosworthy, Nigel Evans, Peter Osborne, Denise Campbell, Nick Weaver, Adrian Candy.

I have struggled to keep up with my own self-inflicted deadlines for making the Abundance installations, especially during this school summer holiday, although I am making progress.   With September nearly upon us, I’ll need to accelerate in order to get it all completed on time.

My large ‘fallen nest’ is coming along ok and I hope to complete it in the next week.  Other parts to the lichen-inspired installation have now been shaped and patinated using reclaimed copper and lead.  I have a couple more items to make, and will then set it all out again in my garden as a mock up.  It’s been great fun exploring techniques and finding new ways of working with materials.

We are meeting with the owners at Esotera this Friday for a final update on the work and Art Weeks arrangements.   Very soon it will be time to install….  better get moving!

Nest in progress Nest in progress Nest in progress Nest in progress Patinated Copper Lead leaf

Progress

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…

Pile of scrap steelWorking out the scale for EsoteraScrap steel ready for cutting Ready for cuttingBeautiful rustGrowing collection of lichenTriffid/lichen

Scrap

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.

Steel barrel Scrap steel

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?