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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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?

Revisiting Esotera

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.

Ferns unravelling Free roaming chickens Gengis Fish loving the sunshine

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.

Esotera Esotera Materials from Esotera

The work begins!

Utopian Eden

My ideas have moved on to something a little more ambitious.  The work will be time-consuming but fun to make!  My thoughts have lingered on Genesis’ Garden of Eden – the most abundant garden where plants, creatures and humans grow and roam freely in complete harmony.  It is the first Utopian concept, explored by many including Plato, Thomas More etc… Utopian ideals encompass world peace, enlightenment, labour, arts and science, fulfillment, harmony between man and nature,  all needs supplied by the abundance of nature.
Esotera means ‘of the earth’.. esoteric means ‘mystical, unusual, rare.’  The garden symbolises a love for the land and relationship with the earth, the owners at Esotera work hard together to create from nothing an idyllic garden (Eden), make a huge contribution to society (Utopian), build things from found materials – including houses of various sorts, the garden is very harmonious with nature, rich in wildlife, creatures everywhere.   Nature has repossessed, like a return to Eden.  ‘Eden’ is almost tangible at Esotera…
Next week I’m revisiting the garden to get more of a feel for it, discuss my ideas with Shirley and Andrew, see the garden blooming and arrange practicalities.
The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch

Esotera featured in Country Living – May ’13

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!

Country Living article - May Esotera 1 1 Esotera 3 Esotera 4 Esotera 5

Ideas are growing…

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:

Esotera garden with fungiPussy willow at Esotera - inspirationWheels collected by owners of the garden - inspirationSketches of Nests Sketches of nestsIdea - nest with extension