Happy New Year!
2018 is already looking like a busy and exciting year. Confirmed events include a return to the Contemporary Crafts Festival at Bovey Tracey in Devon in June. www.craftsatboveytracey.co.uk
I shall be showing work at this years Delamore Arts; an exhibition of more than 120 leading sculptors and painters at Delamore House on Dartmoor every day in May. www.delamore-art.co.uk
I'll also be exhibiting at this years Cornwall Garden Society Spring Flower Show at the Boconnoc Estate near Lostwithial 7th & 8th April 2018. www.cornwallgardensociety.org.uk
Much more locally, I shall be making a series of works for a project entitled 'Near the river of Antre'. The project is a collaboration of artists responding creatively to the inner-landscape of Penryn, specifically focusing on the landscape around Penryn river (which flows past my studio and is a constant soundtrack to my work.)
One of my most frequently asked questions is 'How did you come up with the idea to make pictures out of metal?' On visiting my studio it becomes clear how directly I have been influenced and inspired by my immediate landscape. Moving massive granite boulders has become a weekly occurrence as we attempt to clear and level the land, building walls and importing soil from higher up the hillside to improve the condition of the earth. I frequently uncover beautiful (to me anyway!) rusted sheets of tin, old quarrying tools and machinery that find their way into my next Metal Picture.
This recently completed commission of 'Dixon's Farmhouse' was created in reaction to a pen and ink sketch by A.C. Okell. A challenge to depict the customers house through another artists' work rather than my own sketches.
'Find the Time'
A recent commission from the National Trust at Trelissick house in Cornwall for their 'Find the Time' exhibition, telling the story of the house and it's inhabitants. My brief - A portrait of Margaret Lawrance.
The first picture of 2018!
The blue that I use in my metal pictures is copper from old boilers. Sometimes when I cut into them, they have limescale build-up which has oxidised and created wave forms in a beautiful range of verdigris colours. However, most of my seas come from me exposing the copper to an environment of salt and ammonia. This first piece of the year incorporates a sea that was exposed to that environment through a layer of fabric - I was so pleased with the result - this rich, textured indigo blue has much more tonal variation than my usual recipe...
Our Tiny Home
'Indeed we began to wonder why anyone should ask for a house with more than a couple of rooms. Ours seemed so easily run and demanded little of the time one would have preferred to spend out of doors.'
from Island Years Island Farm by Frank Fraser Darling
In the Forge...
In 2010 my studio was a derelict building. Over the last seven years I have slowly renovated it, laying floors, cleaning and insulating the interior to provide myself with a (nearly!) comfortable workspace. As my needs as an artist have changed, and following the evolution of my work from Blacksmith to Artist, the forge interior has also had to evolve and adapt. 2018 will see me building a partition wall to divide my workspace– half metalworking shop for the early stages of picture making – and half exhibition and studio space so as to have metal landscapes permanently on display as well as works in progress. This end will have the second forge hearth converted to a wood-burning stove to keep me cosy in the cold weather!
'I am leaning on the gate, and suddenly it is as though I had all day to do that and nothing else, or anything else, to stare at butterflies, at clouds. But it is not so, it is the attitude of leaning on the gate, familiar and easy, that induces the idle mood, looking out upon the passing world.'
from Apple Acre by Adrian Bell.
from Apple Acre by Adrian Bell.