Age of Crinoids

step in stone continues to absorb me – not only in my role as curator and manager of the project, but also as a featured artist – taking most of my time and thoughts.

Delving further into the quarries theme for the project, I’ve discovered that the earlier part of the Carboniferous period (Mississipian) has been coined the Age of Crinoids.  Over 350 million years ago the Mendips were submerged under a warm, swampy sea, the Mendip Hills hadn’t yet formed into a range of mountains – now substantially eroded back –  and animal life comprised mainly of primitive reptiles, giant insects like dragonflies the size of seagulls, and a myriad of sea creatures such as echinoderms and corals.  Crinoids (sea lilies) were abundant in thousands of varieties, showing huge morphological diversity.  These fascinating ancient creatures look like exotic plant forms and many varieties still exist today.  They cling to the bottom of the sea bed by long spiny stems, others are unstalked, have tentacle legs or long arms which enable them to drag themeselves along.

Crinoid fossil

Fossils found in limestone rocks exposed in the quarries (often in now vertical old sea beds) brings into question our origin, distant past and future.  Captivated, I have been imagining these other worlds.  Following on from my post on convergent evolution, my work will focus on these and other similar forms as visual metaphors of complex primal systems in nature, universal forms which echo others, examples of fractal geometry and the interconnectedness of all things.

Each time I visit the quarries, often on dog walks, I feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of what they represent – the geology; how far back time goes; what extraordinary life forms exist now and in the past; how incredible and persistent nature is; how we are all linked; how insignificant we are as individuals, yet how we impact on our surroundings…

Quarry at Stoke St. Michael

Representing step in stone, I launched an under 20 year olds’ Sculpture Design Competition at Somerset Earth Science Centre a fortnight ago, and alongside other step in stone artists and Juliet Lawn from SESC, gave a slideshow/talk, with work on display to give young visitors inspiration for their designs.  This competition is now online for entries at: Black Swan Arts.  Last week Nick Weaver and I set up a stand for step in stone at Frome Town Councils’s AGM.  Having been funded by them we were asked to present our project to attendees.  It was a full house – the energy in Frome seems infectious!  This Wednesday (8th April) I’ll be taking part as a speaker in a public discussion at Wells Museum about Public Art (7.30pm if you’re interested in coming!)

I ran a wire workshop at the end of March via ArtsLink, which resulted in some great outcomes by participants.  I have more workshops coming up and will also be running some during step in stone at SESC and Black Swan Arts (details of these will be posted soon).

Wire workshop IMG_9931 IMG_9932 IMG_9934 IMG_9935 IMG_9939 IMG_9940 IMG_9941

Although there’s still a lot to do, I’m looking forward to my forthcoming exhibitions this summer.  Maureen Michaelson is representing me at GROW London and Hidden Garden Art Show this June and my biggest project to date step in stone starts in July.

PRESS 2015

Somerset Art Works Blog – Artists Out in the Cold

Frome Standard – step in stone Feb ’15

Somerset Guardian – Ambitious Art in Quarries Trail, step in stone, Feb ’15

Creative Somerset – step in stone, Feb ’15

The Artiscape – Art, Views and Trails, step in stone Feb ’15

Tessa Farmer – Site Visit to Fairy Cave, step in stone Feb ’15

Shepton Journal – Funding turns quarries into canvas, step in stone March ’15

Mendip Times, Spring ’15

Mendip Times, spring '15

ArtsLink – Wire workshop

ArtsLink Spring Newsletter, Wire workshop

Sculptsite – step in stone

The Visitor – step in stone Sculpture Design Competition, March ’15

Maureen Michaelson, GROW London Garden Fair

Down To Earth magazine, Spring issueDown to Earth mag, step in stone

Frome Standard – Tessa’s evil fairies, April ’15

Frome Standard – step in stone project gathers momentum, April ’15

Artiscape – step in stone

Frome Standard – sculpture design competition, May ’15

Frome Standard May 14 '15 1

Cranmore website

Jack Offord trailer

Country Child Magazine, May ’15

Country Child Magazine, May '15

Shepton Journal

Shepton Journal, June 4 '15

What’s On Somerset, summer ’15

What's On Somerset Magazine, summer What's On Somerset, summer '15

Somerset Life, July ’15

Somerset Life, July '15 1Somerset Life, July '15 2

Shepton Mallet Journal, July

Shepton Journal - Official Opening at SESC

Frome Standard

Frome Standard 1Frome Standard 2

Wells Journal

Wells Journal 1Wells Journal 2

Mendip Times, August ’15

Mendip Times, Aug 1Mendip Times, Aug 2

Somerset Wildlife Trust summer magazine

Somerset Wildlife Trust magazine

Off The Beaten Track  18/8/15

Shepton Journal 20/8/15

Shepton Journal 20:8:15 2

Somerset Guardian/Frome Standard 20/8/15

Frome Standard 20:8:15Frome Standard II 20:8:15

Mendip Times Twitter, Aug ’15

Frome Standard 27/8/15

Frome Standard 27:8:15Frome Standard 27:8:15 1

Richard White Blog  Doing Time in Somerset and Portland 28/8/15

Somerset Life September ’15 issue

Somerset Life p.1 - September '15Somerset Life p.2 - September '15

Evolver Sept/Oct ’15

Evolver - Sept:Oct '15

Gane Trust

SculptSite.com  10/10/15

The Artiscape  October ’15

Landscape Juice  October ’15

Shepton Journal  15/10/15

5 Mins with Fiona Campbell 001

Mount Art Services blog   21/10/15

Crysse Morrison blog

Ali Browne’s blog

 Cranmore Grapevine  Nov ’15

step in stone full documentary film by Jack Offord

SAW website – Looking Back…Nov ’15

Hanson UK – step in stone

Frome Standard – Selwood Seeds

Clifton College – Artist led sculpture workshop

 

 

 

Spring in my Step

Hello to budding spring!  (I guess there is a spring in my step, though sometimes I feel like my feet are dragging – especially early mornings).

A few updates about events you might be interested in.  My Art in Quarries project ‘step in stone’ is progressing well, having achieved a fantastic result through generous donors via crowdfunding on Ideas Tap and more recently a successful Arts Council England/National Lottery application. Heavily involved in bringing it to fruition, I am trying to reserve slices of time to make art. We have a new step in stone website, in addition to our facebook and twitter pages, so do please visit, follow and share. The best bit of the project is working with artists and other experts I admire.  I’ve been getting increasingly inspired by the history, geology and nature of the quarries, with new sources of information from scientists such as Gill Odolphie from Somerset Earth Science Centre and friend Nick Weaver.  I hope you’ll be able to visit the project this summer.

Fairy Cave Quarry

Part of the step in stone project will involve a young Sculpture Design Competition, kindly hosted by Black Swan Arts online from 1st April – 18th May. The winner will create their design as a full-scale sculpture to feature in our Trail, and all entries will be shown at the Black Swan, so any under 20 year old budding artists you know might like to have a go: http://www.blackswan.org.uk/sculpturedesign2015. Somerset Earth Science Centre (BA3 5JU) are hosting a Launch for us to explain more about this on Monday 23 March, 6-8pm. Come along if interested!

Sculpture Design Competition Poster

I feel honoured to have recently been elected onto the Black Swan board as a trustee and hope I can do the role justice in time. I love the Black Swan, it continues to provide excellent quality Arts in the South West, despite it’s huge crash in Council funding a few years ago. I hope it will gain further funding to be the best it can.

Nest 1 - final idea for Sunflow radiatorIdeas for Nest radiator

A radiator company, Sunflow Ltd, commissioned me to produce a 3-d sculptural piece for their new line of interesting Arty Radiators earlier this year. A challenging concept, I created an organic piece (no surprises there) involving copper piping and a woven nest on a layered backing of cut out metal, which we then sprayed (see design left and link above). These radiators are unusual – beautifully engineered, slim and very low heat. Mine is a prototype, so further one-off versions can be commissioned from me via Sunflow.

This June I will be featuring in the GROW London Fair, Hampstead Heath, London (18-21 June) represented by Gallerist Maureen Michaelson. My work will also be on exhibition at the Hidden Garden Art Show, Hampstead, London NW3 from 6-28 June and ArtParks International Exhibition, Sausmarez Rd, St Martin, Guernsey GY4 6SG.

Workshops and teaching continue to keep me connected with surrounding schools and the community. I’m looking forward to some great projects ahead with students, making large insects, birds and a dragon.

Spring - Wire work class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scraptorzoic Era at The Magdalen Project

On Friday, 8th March our Scraptors sculpture group finally installed some work at The Magdalen Project – an organic farm and eco/educational centre bordering Somerset, Dorset and Devon.  The work is a scaled down version of the original Scraptorzoic Era planned at the centre, an eco sculptural project of Scraptorzioc creatures, humanoids and weird, fantastic plant life.   The installation will remain as a permanent feature for visitors to enjoy.  We spent well over a year trying to gain sufficient funds to enable us to install a much larger set of work.  Although we didn’t achieve our Arts Council grant – required to match funds given by Dorset Arts Council – we did gain some success fund-raising via Indiegogo (crowd-funding), donations of materials and a workshop at the Gryphon School via ArtsLInk.  Some of the students’ spawn and scraptoroid creatures will be on display at the centre, as part of the installation.  The Magdalen Project will be holding a ‘Spring on the Farm’ Open Day on Sunday 21st April for the public to visit the farm, see the lambs, calves, piglets and aliens, make pizza and roast marshmallows.

This is my last trail/event as part of the Scraptors group.  I have various new projects on the horizon, including the Abundance commission and other forthcoming exhibitions, which will keep me very busy and it is time for me to move on.

Wire Workshops

I ran a wire workshop on Thursday 16th August as part of Gallery4Art’s series of workshops offered alongside our Summer Exhibition at Binham Grange, near Minehead in August. If you’d like to take part in other workshops there, please see this link for details: http://www.gallery4art.co.uk/exhibitions/workshopsbg2012

An inspiring venue, the exhibition runs from 11th Aug – 2nd Sept.

Below are images from previous workshops – two run very recently at Bridport Arts Centre and Sherborne Youth Centre:

Sherborne Learning Centre

I spent 2 mornings at the Sherborne Learning Centre recently, as part of an ArtsLink programme, working with 6 teenagers on some 3-d wire pieces.  They found some aspects hard – forming the initial structures being the greatest hurdle – but lovely to see their satisfied, happy faces at the end, together with great finished pieces, despite the brief timescale.  Tiffany’s bulrushes have been selected to appear on the cover of the ArtsLink main summer programme.

Exhibitions 2012

This list has been added to over the months, together with images of the exhibitions:

‘Precious and Primal’ Solo Exhibition at Casespace, Bruton Museum, 26 High Street, Bruton Somerset BA10 0AA  1-29 February (Open Tues, Wed, Fri 11-1pm; Sat 11-3pm)

Black Swan Open Art 2012 Exhibition, Black Swan Arts, 2 Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BB  11th February – 31st March (Private View 10th Feb, 6-8pm)

Mercedes Pop-up Art Exhibition, Mercedes Showroom, Taunton  10th/11th March

Environment Exhibition, Hawthorns, 8-12 Northload Street, Glastonbury BA6 9JJ  21 – 29th  April (in support of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation – raffle to raise funds)

Delamore Arts, Cornwood, Devon PL21 9QT  1 – 31st May 2012

Showborough Sculpture Garden Exhibition, Showborough House, Twyning Gloucestershire GL20 6DN 3rd May – 17th June (open 10.30am – 4pm; Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun & Bank Holiday Mon)

Swans of Wells, Bishops Palace moat and surrounds, Wells May – September (decorated ‘Candela’ Swan for sponsors All Hallows Prep School)

Art in the Garden 2012, The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Hampshire  19th May – 27th October

Summers Place/Sotheby’s Auction, The Walled Garden, Stane St, Billingshurst, W.Sussex RH14 9AB 18th – 24th May

Green Capital Residency Exhibition, Create Centre, Smeaton Road, Cumberland Basin, Bristol BS1 6XN   6th June – 27th July and harbour by Arnolfini, Bristol   6-17th June

Reading Room, Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA 6th June – 1st July (sketchbooks)

Woodland Sculpture Trail, Goblin Combe, Cleeve BS49 4PQ 15/16/17th June

NGS Open Garden & Art Exhibition, East Burford House, West Compton, Pilton, Somerset BA4 4PA 24/25th June, 11-5

ArtsLink Summer Show, Newland Gallery, Old Hall, 101 Newland, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3DU 29th/30th June

The Bishop’s Palace Summer Exhibition 2012, Wells, Somerset BA5 1UN  July – Sept

The Blue House Sculpture Exhibition (part of Frome Festival), The Bridge, Somerset, Frome BA11 1AP  6-15th July

Rubbish Art Project (work displayed on London waterways until the end of the Olympics, including Regent’s Canal Festival, Shoreditch Festival, Barbican, Angel Canal Festival, London Pleasure Gardens and London Wildlife Centre) 13th July – Sept   (For further details see London Canal Festivals post)

Devon Recycled Sculpture TRAIL, Teignmouth seafront, Devon 18th July – 2nd September

Sculpture in the Gardens 2012, Godinton House & Gardens, Godinton Lane, Ashford, Kent  TN23 3BP  21st July – 12th August, open daily 2-5.30pm

Binham Grange Summer Exhibition, Nr Minehead, Somerset TA24 6HX  11th August – 2nd September, open daily 10.30am-5pm.   Wire workshop Thursday 16th – for details see Gallery4Art website & to book contact me: (01749) 880394

Somerset Art Weeks Open Studios, Laundry Cottage, 13 Cooks Lane, West Cranmore, Shepton Mallet Somerset BA4 4RH  15th – 30th Sept

Quartz 2012, Queen’s College, Trull Road, Taunton TA1 4QS  26th Sept – 6th Oct

Black Swan Arts SMALL Exhibition, 2 Bridge St, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BB  1-24th Dec ’12

Ginger Fig Gallery’s 5th birthday themed exhibition ‘The birds and the bees’, 1b Bath Place, Taunton TA1 4ER  25th Jan – 9th Feb ’13

Scraptorzoic Era by the Scraptors, at The Magdalen Project, Magdalen Farm, Winsham, Chard, Somerset TA20 4PA   2013 onwards