Cocoons and Butterflies

I accompanied a School Art Trip to London a week ago and had a lovely time drawing with the children in the Natural History Museum and Gaugin Exhibition at the Tate Modern.  I always find endless, fresh inspiration at the Natural History Museum – nature in all its wonderful semblances.  Some of those sea creatures are incredible!  Still most fascinated with Cocoons – sadly, none at the Museum.  I have started a new series of Cocoons – some 3 metres tall and freestanding, some to be suspended – see drawings below:


Last Friday I went to visit Clive Farrell at his Ryewater Estate in Dorset, to deliver a prototype copper butterfly nectar feeder I’d made for him.   Andrew George (also an artist and keen butterfly enthusiast) came with me.   Clive’s gardens stretch for acres and are designed for butterflies – can’t wait to see them  in full bloom.  A very interesting man with a deep love of Butterflies and several Butterfly sanctuaries all over the world .   We discussed the possibility of me doing some large scale work for his gardens in the near future – very exciting!



Looking ahead – Exhibitions, Trails and salvage

Breaking into the New Year with a lighthearted, fun theme around the Gingerbread Man story, I’m making a 2-d colourful wire piece for display at Ginger Fig Gallery’s Celebration Gingerbread Man Project (end Jan – Feb).   A series of layered wire cocoons nestled in elegant, twisting vertical structures will hopefully then characterise a new series of work –  to be shown at Bridgwater Arts Centre in May (30 April – 26 May).  The title ‘Mystery and Mutability’ evokes concepts of change, growth, hidden worlds, emergence, ephemerality and transformation, which exist at the root of my cocoon pieces.  My sculptures will be shown together with Kitty Hillier’s beautiful carved and painted mixed media pieces.

In addition to exhibiting at Showborough House again this year (21 April – 12 June), Gants Mill, Bruton (April – September) and Bruton Art Trail (16 – 31st May), I will be  producing a new large recycled creation for Salvofair 2011 at Knebworth (24 – 26th June), followed by collaborative work with participants at the Larmer Tree Festival (July 15th) to create a large recycled Adornable Art piece for the Festival site.   As a member of Gallery4Art, I will feature in their annual Show at Binham Grange, West Somerset (7 – 27th August: and in September I will be taking part in a Sculpture Exhibition at Stoberry Park, as part of Somerset Art Weeks along with Ian Marlow, Alex Relph, Christine-Anne Richards and Sonja Klinger.

Stourhead (National Trust Estate, Wiltshire) has invited me and 3 other sculptors to create a Sculpture Trail in their landscape during September ’11.  The group of ‘Scraptors’ (Anthony Wilson, Paul Boswell, Rachel Macleay and me) are all dedicated to using scrap materials within their work. The purpose of the circular sculpture trail will be to publicize and enhance the wider estate of Stourhead, beyond the iconic lakeside, exploring themes connected with Stourhead, including its wildlife and iconography. The sculpture trail is part of a whole month of activity to find out what lies beyond the horizon and why it is there with the theme of “Beyond the Garden Gate”.  As visitors explore the garden throughout September the storyboard exhibition will reveal the significance of the views you see into the wider landscape. Discover what’s beyond the garden boundary, learn about the history of the landscape, its development and how the countryside areas of this vast estate are managed today.  Aiming to extend the fantasy and whimsy of the lakeside into the woods, the group intends to create a vibrant spectacle, a magical sense of ‘otherworldliness’ – appealing to both children and adults (see scraptors blog).

Looking ahead, I hope to continue evolving and developing my practice, reaching audiences further afield.  This may be enhanced during 2012, when I hold a Solo Exhibition in Bishops Palace Gardens, by Wells Cathedral (Spring – Autumn).  A fabulous venue for my sculptures, it will be a certain attraction for visitors to Wells during the Olympic season!