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

 

LOL cat likes the Horn of Plenty

I never thought I’d see a genuine LOL cat, but look at the marking’s on this cat’s side!

(I ought to add that I only know about LOL cats because of my son’s obsession, and because I read about them in the financial pages of the Guardian….)

Installation is now complete, and Julia Ridge phoned me this morning to suggest that with the weather being good, today would be a good opportunity to get some photos.

The journey from Kinston St Mary has unfortunately caused a small amount of damage to the thatching.  On my way home, I managed to find  a few reeds, and  hope to return and make good in the next couple of days.

The cats obviously appreciate this work of art, as it provides a good look out point and scratching post. What more could you want, function as well as beauty!

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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

 

Horn finds a New Home in Hillcommon

Thursday 17th October saw an early start at Little Yarford Farmhouse, with the artist,  garden owners,  new owner of the Horn, and ‘the removal men’  (a team from Mark Butterfield Furniture) on site at 08.30 , AND it wasn’t raining!

Paul Ridge of Hazelmere, Hillcommon, is the new owner of the Horn of Plenty, and plans to install it on his land.

Paul said; ‘ When I first saw the Horn of Plenty I loved its shape, scale and how it looks different from every angle.’

The removal proved to be surprisingly straightforward (from a non participant),  although we nearly lost a man in the pond!

Although some of these pictures are blurred, I like them, and I was walking backwards at speed on wet grass!

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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!

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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

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

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