Back in the Swing / by Fiona

My blog is suffering under the weight of too many other things going on!  After a lovely trip to Kenya over Christmas, I returned with tonsillitis, which didn't help my approach to January - one of my least favourite months. However, I have tried to get out, see some art and socialise despite the grotty weather. At the Holburne, Bath I saw the paper cut out piece by Nahoko Kojima (beautifully delicate, but felt it could have been hung lower) and visited Kurt Jackson’s 'Place' exhibition at Victoria Gallery.  Particularly loved some of his larger pieces, contrasts of misty, cold northern Britain and vibrant views of Glastonbury Festival. New Dimensions at the Museum of Somerset is intriguing, a great exhibition in response to the museum collection by fellow artists including Ralph Hoyte, who showed with me during step in stone. His postcard exhibits have a wonderful quirky humour and Chris Dunseath's sculptural responses to cauldrons and skillets captivated me. A recent trip to Hauser & Wirth to see 'Qwaypurlake' and 'Don McCullin' with Mendip Creatives was also very inspiring - some of it mesmerising, questionable, extraordinary, heart wrenching, and I’m looking forward to attending the panel discussion with curator Simon Morrissey and participating artists this Saturday. Louise Bourgeois at Hauser & Wirth

I’m still in the process of making a lifesize steel bishop for Bishops’ Palace, Wells – his completion imminent.  He is supposed to be killing a dragon that hasn't been made yet.  Getting the posture right has involved a few sessions drawing and taking photos of friend Nick posing (once in the Bishops's cope) and a vicar at Wells Cathedral, who didn't seem to mind when I spontaneously asked him to pose for me in dragon-killing stance!

Bishop - just startedBishop - progressingBishop with faceBishop - getting there

Things are progressing with my Chelsea Flower Show commission, which I will be working on with Nick Weaver for landscape designer Sarah Eberle.   I’ve been experimenting with crochet and weaving samples and will soon be starting the 4 metre woven canopy, inspired by Cambodian fishing nets.

Canopy Design Team meeting; left to right: me, Nick, Robert, Sarah - photo by Angela Morley

As Trustee of Black Swan Arts, I’ve been getting more involved behind the scenes, and excited about our plans to make this year's 30th anniversary a good one.  Also helping with education aspects including the Black Swan Arts Young Open - such a great opportunity for young people!

And by the weekend the dreaded tax return will be submitted... roll on February!