SIX, a carefully curated range of work in diverse media and styles, 8 January - 5 March 2022 in the beautiful West Gallery at Quay Arts in Newport, Isle of Wight.
I was very honoured to have been unexpectedly selected for this exhibition from the 34 artists chosen for the Quay Arts Biennial Open Exhibition. Whilst I have exhibited regularly for years, I have always had pieces included as part of various open exhibitions, with my work hanging alongside that of a number of other artists. This is the first time I have had five works exhibited together as part of a small group show (and had my name on the wall!). It was wonderful to have curator Ian Whitmore visit my studio and and talk through my existing work, and work in progress. His choice of pieces for the show was inspired, since they all fit together perfectly and artfully complemented the other work in the exhibition.
I felt very privileged to have been given the opportunity to exhibit alongside the creative and technical skill of Jill Wilkinson, Shaun Martin, Charles Inge, David Hamilton and Fran Farrar, all of whose work I greatly admire.
SIX / : : : Artist Statement
I work on the premise that when sculpture responds to the human condition, a collection of objects interacting with an onlooker evolves into an artistic collaboration that enhances our collective understanding.
I mostly use hand worked natural fibres, flotsam objects and precious metal clay (which upon firing becomes fine, recycled, silver). Natural fibres give a grounded nature to the work and a sense of continuum in the use of traditional skills to manipulate them. Found objects are mysterious, full of possible stories, purpose and travels. Silver is very special, it brings preciousness, reflections and brightness which beautifully lift the sometimes weighty themes behind the work.
The curious arrangement of these things, accented by my written thoughts, seeks to inspire a deeper consideration of our shared experience.
The art works in the SIX exhibition have arisen out of a life lived on islands; the study and practice of jewellery making, science and law; the inheritance of traditional textiles skills; and a lifelong interest in philosophy. They are united in speaking to our understanding of ourselves and to the navigation of life’s more overgrown trails.
cage: 60cm x 60cm x 60cm
small feathers: 1cm x 1cm; large feather: 5cm x 10cm
Hand built fine silver ornaments, sealed against tarnishing; flotsam cage; brushed silk and silver thread.
My blog post Trauma and Transformation has more information, images and close up views.
For some, the cage of cultural and societal conditioning gently melts away until its absence is one day noted with surprise; but for many, something much more calamitous has to happen. It is only when something shifts, often radically, that we come to realise: perhaps it was others' fears that kept us in this cage. An opening has appeared, and with it the chance to step though, to take this precious opportunity to redefine ourselves beyond the confines of who we thought we were.
32cm x 24cm x 6cm
Hand built fine silver ornament with patina, sealed against tarnishing; mounted on flotsam stainless steel pan, embellished with delicate calcification left by departed marine organisms threatened by global warming.
That fleeting moment of absolute tranquillity when sliding between parallel universes suddenly seems not only possible but an entirely normal thing to do.
My blog post Portal to a Parallel Universe has more information and images.
4.5cm x 1.9cm x 1.3cm
Hand built fine silver ornament, sealed against tarnishing; and crocheted cotton.
Mirror, Mirror, is she reflecting my subconscious small when she says these hurtful things to me? Is that her own hurt there writhing in the gaps between the strips of hard exterior? It helps to think of her like this. It makes me fear her less and care for her more. To be almost grateful for reflected light shone on my own part in this charade. Mirror, mirror are we doing some kind of dance with and for each other? Help me to make this dance the last.
This piece has also been exhibited online in the Mirror Mirror exhibition at the House of Smalls.
PROTECT YOUR OWN
25cm x 15cm x 3cm
Hand built fine silver ornaments with patina; knitted cotton, leather and paper cord.
Our unique essence needs protection. Stability, sanity, gentleness and peace of mind are all struggling, compromised by the barrage of triggering information, strident opinions and comparisons (endless comparisons). Wrap your cloak tight now and tie up the cord. Let only love through the door.
LOCKDOWN WITH LIFERING
12cm x 25cm
Crotched flotsam latex fish handling glove and flotsam board with nail.
A comment on the often inadequate assistance provided by Governments in times of crisis.