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

 

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Blurred Edges

Kitty Hillier and I have just held a joint exhibition of our work at Walcot Chapel Gallery, Bath, entitled Blurred Edges.  I re-installed part of my Abundance work for the exhibition – an interesting exercise re-creating a smaller version of the lichen-inspired piece, which crept up one corner of the chapel space.  It was great seeing the work in a completely different setting – a wonderful large indoor space with high ceilings, white walls, and beautiful chapel windows.  We had almost 500 visitors, a few who had also visited the Abundance Trail.    No permanent home yet for my Abundance pieces, though plenty of interest, so my garden/studio will be their home for the time being.

Lichen at Walcot Chapel Gallery IMG_7720IMG_7694 IMG_7758IMG_7709

 

New Life

Whilst manning at Esotera I’ve been watching a pigeon nesting.  Visitors can’t believe it at such a late time of year.  Well, she’s had babies!  It’s providing additional interest for visitors to Esotera!  Meanwhile, new life is sprouting through my installation – grass growing rapidly after all the rain and mushrooms are finding it a perfect haven.   Nature is once again doing its magic and I’m loving the enhancement.  Here’s to our final day – let’s hope the sun shines for us all!

IMG_7594Scan 3Scan 2IMG_7591 IMG_7608 IMG_7604IMG_7598

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

Installation

Saturday was the big day for me to install the main bulk of my work at Esotera.  I am eternally grateful to Nick Weaver and Nigel Evans for their invaluable help carting, transporting and installing my work – the 3 of us driving in convoy with full loads meant that I didn’t have to do several trips the same day.   I was installing from 8.30am-7pm, aided by some lovely refreshments courtesy of Shirley and Andrew Harvey.  Thanks also to Jason Nosworthy, who helped with the landscaping side of things.  Apart from the grass not growing quite enough to enclose the site for my main installation at Esotera (a set of silver birch trees), I am really pleased with the site – its dappled light and colours give it a magical quality, which just happens to play and harmonise with my work.  Until the work was installed (partly) on Saturday, I had no clear idea of these effects.

I still have a serpent and giant nest to finish, so won’t linger.   I plan to add a fuller write up about the final installations after completion later this week, when a photographer will visit the site  to take better pics.  Then it’s the opening/talk/workshop/private view on Saturday…   Good luck everyone!

Truck fullInstallation in progressInstalling the Garden of EdenInstalling the Garden of Eden Site for main installation Garden of Eden - detail Garden of Eden - detail

Heat is on

It’s been wonderful working out in the garden in the heat and sunshine.  I’ve been able to spread out my collected materials and see how it might all come together.  Plasma cutting got a little too hot but it’s a nifty new tool for ‘drawing’ ragged edges for the effect I want.

Fiona plasma cutting Lichen-inspired - work in progress

Even more inspired to get on with my final piece after going to a talk by Piet Oudolf in Bruton this week (Kitty Hillier was also there).  His world re-knowned natural garden designs, using grasses as an integral feature, are an inspiration to the owners at Esotera.  Tall reeds and grasses around their large pond will be echoed by the textures and  vertical sense of movement in my giant ‘fallen’ nest.

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