Spinning my web

I will be showing my largest sculpture to date at Glastonbury’s Greenfields this June – a giant Spider and Web, to be made out of steel, wire and recycled materials.

The basic inner steel structure will be made in advance.  On the first two days of the Festival, the Spider will start to gain its woven outer layers of wire and colourful crushed cans, bottle tops, lids etc.  Members of the public can watch or join in with my team to create the finished piece.  The Spider (approximately 3-4 metres in diameter) and Web will continue to grow and develop during the Festival.

Alongside the sculpture construction, I will be running Wire Workshops over the Glastonbury weekend at Greenfields.  Adults and children will be able to participate in 2-hour sessions to create their own pieces made from colourful wire and recycled components.  These can then be attached to the giant Web until participants are ready to collect them.

The concept behind the work is a new-age spider, made of steel, wire and recycled waste, which has adapted and grown to enormous dimensions to take on her new role of catching waste, which she feeds on.  The giant spider weaves her web to attract ‘waste bugs’, which adults and children will create during the workshops.  The aim is to create further awareness and enjoyment of recycling, along with exploring new creative skills, using colourful wire, cans, plastic bottles, lids, buttons and other recycled implements.

Various local companies and individuals have kindly offered their help with the project, including Pete Margerum, Ruth Worsley, Jason Nosworthy, JustVans, Luke Allen (Geodize) and John Shepherd Feeders.  A large quantity of aluminium drinks cans are needed (particularly red and orange cans), so the collection commences!  Please let me know if you can help.  Refuse depots have strange rules that restrict giving their rubbish to the public..!

Design for Giant Spider and Web

New Year

Strangely, the new financial year coincides with the start of my next year as a fully self-employed sculptor.  I gave up my part-time teaching job this time last year, to go fully self-employed and so glad I did.  It’s been a great year on the whole – a bit of a rollercoaster – with enough achievements to keep me working hard for the next year at least!  I may need to re-evaluate how much time to spend driving around various parts of the country delivering/collecting my work for Exhibitions.  Whole days and full tanks of petrol frequently get consumed for this cause.  It seems wasteful in many ways… but my little Ka does me proud – it’s amazing what you can fit into a tiny hatchback if you utilise all space!  I keep feeling I should have a proper pick-up truck or landrover to cart around larger work, but my Ka seems to manage most of the time.  I saved one journey by sending one of my smaller pieces safely via Royal Mail to the Fire and Iron Gallery, Surrey.  I will, however, be needing a pick-up truck for a piece I’m making for Glastonbury Festival (greenfields) ’10 – a giant Spider – about 4metres wide – and Web, but hoping I can borrow one..!  Any offers gratefully received!  I’ll be offering wire workshops at Glastonbury (greenfields) too, so please come along if you have a Glasto ticket!

Looking to the future, I have several exhibitions coming up over the next few months (see my previous ‘Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions blog) culminating, I hope, in a couple of Solos planned for next year (details to follow..).  I am also going to try to break further into the realm of Public Art work.  Here are a few photos of my past year’s work (one for each month!):

Owl (detail) - sited in Private Woodland, Rackenford, Devon

Butterfly - sited at entrance to Dobbies Garden World, Somerset

Dung Beetle and Ball II - Award Winner in 'Wildlife Artist of the Year '09', London

Chameleon (detail) - Artist-in-Residence work, All Hallows School Woodland, Cranmore

Earth Worm III (confusion)

Me and 'Seaweed' at the Devon Sculpture Trail '09

Cocoon series - Somerset Art Weeks

Bumblebee II - private commission, Somerset

Man (detail) - RHS Rosemoor Winter Sculpture Exhibition, Great Torrington, Devon

Beetle study from insect collection at BRLSI

Spiky Cocoon II, version II - on show at the Black Swan Arts, Frome

Me with 'Dragonfly II' at the Air Gallery Private View