Last week I installed my Lichen and Giant Nest for Glastonbury Abbey’s Orchard Sculpture Trail – summer ’14. This is now the fourth showing of Lichen since it’s installation for the Abundance commission last autumn. This time the challenge was to construct Lichen around and up a tree in the Abbey Orchard, which took several days to install! It will be on exhibition until 28th September ’14, as will my Giant Nest – so plenty of time to go and visit them there.
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.
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).
Below are details of the exhibition – please come along!
I have been made aware that a better image is required….here is the enlargement which hopefully makes things clearer. If you really want to know more visit http://www.lolcats.com/ but I must stress that I don’t spend any time on this site!!
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!
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.
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!
It rained all day until about 15.00 and then the sun came out. Not a single visitor (unless they came after I’d gone home). I can’t sit around all day, and so I went looking for ideas for my next project.
How about these for sculptural forms and colour? Horse chestnuts and a Hawthorn with big orange berries.
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.
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.