Now that most of my exhibitions are over for a while, I have a bit more time to focus on some drawings in between a couple of commissions. After months of intensive sculpting, this is a gift – an opportunity to get new ideas rolling. Some edgy new work for gardens with a difference… Ginger Fig Gallery has asked me to produce some work for their forthcoming ‘Birds and bees, butterflies and other bugs…’ exhibition – prompting me to visit some butterfly houses and get some inspiration. Longleat and Cadbury Gardens are great resource centres for butterflies and cocoons, kindly giving me some dead ones for my collection.
I went to a couple of Private Views in Bath yesterday evening. Duncan Cameron (love his work of collected creatures/bones and sketchbooks to die for – I even own a piece!) at Bo Lee Gallery and the Gillespie sisters at Beaux Arts. I was very moved by Sarah Gillespie’s intimate charcoal and ink drawings of moths and bees… it seems many of us are on the same wavelength.
Last week I spent two days working with a lovely group of Year 8 & 9’s at Westfield Academy, Yeovil on a large steel and wire Dragonfly sculpture for their Art Park. The Art Park in the school grounds already houses an impressive, growing collection of permanent Art created by students – some pieces made with the help of visiting artists – organised by Art teacher Tamsin Gilham.
I created the steel structure in advance, before we worked together constructing the various sections of the Dragonfly. We also made some wire blackberries on stems to add to the sculpture, all to be installed in a tree.
This year’s Somerset Art Weeks Open Studios event was an interesting one. Naturally, the recession has hit peoples’ pockets a plenty, so visitor attendance and sales were clearly down on previous years, in my experience. However, although a bit remote from the main hub of venues, I was pleased that my venue at no. 10 attracted some lovely, appreciative people and a whole range of positive feedback – all of which help make it worthwhile. I do feel that we artists will need to work even harder to gain public recognition and earn a crust in times ahead… A blog by Nancy Farmer articulates many thoughts from this year’s SAW artists. Somerset Art Works is a great organisation for artists in Somerset and let’s hope it continues to move from strength to strength despite the arts cuts.
Sometimes it’s hard to verbalise what my work is about – often working in an instinctive way – so it’s helpful receiving other people’s responses. Here are some of my visitors’ comments from SAW ’12, to end the 2 weeks and 3 weekends on a positive note (and to entice you to come and view my work in forthcoming exhibitions):
“Beautifully close to nature…delicate and strong at the same time” “..fascinating and clever” “absolutely intriguing” “inspirational” “your sculptures work very well in the garden” “we love your stuff – you have a wonderful eye for the incredible” “wonderful texture and form” “individual” “unique” “amazing work” “inventive use of materials” “jack of all trades – master of all!” “so versatile” “ethereal” “I very much admire your work” “so organic” “I love your work – it’s so intricate, clever and witty” 🙂