INSPIRATION ….

I now feel settled within my niche of working with found objects.  But how did I get to this point?  An early influence was Cas Holmes who creates wonderful textiles using found and recycled materials either directly or as tools (I well remember her printing with a malted milk biscuit!) and it seemed to make sense to me to re-use as much as possible in one’s creation.  Later I came across the beautiful work of Alice Fox and very much enjoyed a course with her at Studio 11 in Eastbourne.  We started each day with a walk along the shoreline collecting items that we could use – in this instance we were particularly looking for items with which we could rust-dye.  Before the class started, I was away walking along the beach each morning – there was something about the absorbing way I searched which allowed my eyes to see but my mind to wander in a creative meander.  I have never stopped!

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Beachcombing Day 1 at Studio 11 Eastbourne in 2016

Alice suggested that we lay out our finds so that we could take in what we had and how the pieces might work.  She also introduced us to the work of a silversmith by the name of Stuart Cairns.  Whilst I do not have the ability to make the beautiful objects that Stuart makes, he inspired me to continue to work with the found.  I do not seek to copy his work (I do not have the skill!) but I greatly admire it and so jumped at the chance to see his current exhibition which runs at “Make”, Hauser at Wirth in Bruton, Somerset until Saturday.

SC - Bound and left vessel 2 - silver, stainless stell wire, linen thread, driftwood, rose thorn and washerSC Wetlands Vessel - iron wire, driftwood, oxidised silver, bobby pin, fishhookSC Traces & Fragments vessel 2 - silver, stainless steel wire, beach pebble, found sardine canSC 5SC 3

If I had to sum up Stuart’s work in three words they would be: beautiful, delicate, fragile.  Each piece is so perfectly judged – just the right amount of detail, just the right balance between found and made.  Do have a look at his website but the objects really do need to be seen to be appreciated in full.

I would also just like to mention the work of ceramicist Elaine Bolt.  Elaine also appreciates Stuart’s work and has been supportive of me in the past.  I think you will see that same sense of balance in her pieces and the apparent simplicity of the work.  I say apparent because of course none of these artists produce their work with ease or without a great deal of hard work and study.  I tried working with porcelain with Elaine once – an unmitigated disaster!

So, I will continue to work in my own way but always admiring these various artists and makers.  They continue to inspire me and hope that you will gain something from looking at their work too.

 

Studio 21: Colour Notes

Very much looking forward to seeing this at Walford Mill – always drop in to this excellent venue whenever we can and have a few lovely pieces as a result!

Modern Eccentrics

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Studio 21’s current exhibition ‘Colour Notes’, celebrates the group’s 21st anniversary  and explores how each artist expresses and interprets their own response to colour through narratives and memories.

Launched at the Knitting and Stitching Exhibition in October 2018 (where the majority of these shots were taken) to great acclaim, Colour Notes comprises a broad range of hues and tones in a varied imagery of texture, light and shadow. All of the pieces represent searching and thought provoking responses to the effect of colour on each artist’s life and practice.

Instead of a riot of colour, the exhibition comprises a broad range of hues and tones in a varied imagery of space, light and shadow. All of the pieces represent searching and thought-provoking responses. With a wide range of responses including: material colour in and of the landscape; colour created by the changing light of day or season; and capturing a…

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It’s All Over

After three weeks at the Oxmarket Gallery in Chichester, the time came last Sunday to take down our work.  I thoroughly enjoyed the run, meeting lots of new people, chatting to other artists, and of course handing over five pieces of my work to their new homes.  Nicola Hancock did a great job of curating the exhibition, displaying her own work along with four other artists who each came from different walks of life, offering up different methodologies and outcomes, but whose work all reflected on how creativity offered release to those suffering mental anguish in some form – here the title “Creative Redemption.”  Several visitors told me how good it was to see some contemporary work displayed in this gallery in a new and exciting way.

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I sold two collages and three pieces of sculpture …

 

… and, just as importantly, received lots of positive feedback and encouragement from visitors.  Several said that they were off to the beach to see what they could find and I would love to hear from them – as long as they took a bag to pick up the rubbish at the same time, that is all fine with me!  Others related to the theme of the exhibition and chatted about the restorative power of stitch or other forms of creativity.

So, I am now thinking about my next project.  I will certainly exhibit at this venue again and am thinking in terms of combining my found objects with recycled everyday items to create a new body of work.

Thank you to the Oxmarket Gallery, Nicola Hancock, Terry Hancock at ReFrame, and to my husband for helping me along the way.  Until next time ….

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Retracing Nature at Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset.

So looking forward to seeing this!

Stuart Cairns

Retracing Nature is a two person show opening on the 8th of February at Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset, I am showing a new series of vessels alongside utensils with  Ceramicist Adam Buick.

12 bound and left vessel 72dpi

“Stuart Cairns is a contemporary metalsmith using the forms of silversmithing objects, of dining and ritual, as places to explore materials and tell stories. The visual language created emerges from his immersion in landscape whether through walking, wild swimming, photography, drawing or gathering. Utilising found objects and materials collected on walks through his local landscape, combined with steel and patinated silver, Cairns creates unique, small forms, intimate in nature, translating elements of this personal journey. With this collection, conceived for Make, Cairns returns to vessel forms, set alongside the shapes of utensils and tools, acting as physical representations of a lived landscape, alive with memory.

33 utensil 15 72dpi

Objects are drawn out of the natural lines of grasslands and wetlands…

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And they’re up!

Delighted to say that the hanging is complete and the exhibition “creative redemption” at the Oxmarket Gallery will open at 10.00 tomorrow.

As well as my mixed media collages, assemblages and sculptures, I added a few items that were not for sale but show the visitors the sort of things that I find:

The left hand images shows three oil filters in various stages of composition and the right hand image is of an old workman’s boot to which I have added a found jumble of fishing wire and seaweed.

I am looking forward to spending time with the other artists and chatting to visitors about the exhibition of the next three weeks.