Emerging from the Landscape
This year our theme explores the way that artists and makers are inspired by the landscape and the way in which they use different media to express that connection. Anna Lambert is a case in point – her expert use of clay allows her to build work that gives the impression of an unfolding landscape, often by creating several separate entities which sit inside each other. Curated by Miranda Leonard the exhibition celebrates this alchemy show casing a selection of artists who work in ceramics, textiles, jewellery, glass, metal and new materials
With the pool water reflected on the gallery ceiling, The Pool House will be filled with indoor artworks and beautiful things for you to take away and enjoy in your own home. Lucy and David Abel Smith’s vision for the exhibition stemmed from their love of collection contemporary craft at it’s best and you will see much to inspire at here.
Anna Lambert makes hand built earthenware ceramics for wall and table that relate to place. Using a range of techniques including altered clay slabs, modelling and painted slips, Anna‘s new work reflects a growing interest to the fragile and constantly changing environment, responding to places as diverse as degraded moorland and bird filled hedgerows. Some of her new work explores ideas relating to the connection between the local moors and flooded valley bottoms undergoing transformation as land use and climate changes. Other pieces relate to the beauty of regeneration and new growth, represented in her studies of orchards and woodlands. Inspired by Romanticism and new nature writing, she is engaging with a common language beyond pastoral sentimentality – interpreting memories and observation through drawing to make best use of the abstract nature of pots, their spaces, edges and surfaces.
Michala is an award winning, widely exhibited artist who works from studies in pastel and then ‘paints with fibres’ on old dyed blankets, moving around the piece like a dancer inhabiting an imaginary landscape. She states:
“My passion for art and textiles began early on. As a child I spent endless hours playing with threads and fibres and this intimate knowledge has subsequently influenced my choice of materials. My work seeks to capture an emotive and evocative interpretation of nature which is constantly refined throughout the process of making. The passion and freedom encountered in the immediacy of sketching is developed and channelled through paintings, and then consolidated into textile pieces. Labour and repetition are central to this process and depending on the scale the finished textile can take many months to complete. My understanding of art is not purely the process of my individual craft, but encompasses a larger historical understanding of artists working in many mediums.”
Dana has lived in Devon, Liverpool, Oxfordshire, Scotland and London, as well as periods abroad in Scandinavia, Spain and India. At the end of 2015 she moved to West Cornwall, after completing a transformational year long Mentoring Course at the Newlyn School of Art, and began to paint in a studio at the beautiful Trewidden Gardens near Penzance.
Throughout her life she has painted, and although her degree, at Dartington in 1996, was in more installation-based art, she has always returned to painting. Her work is inspired by travels and landscapes in wild and wonderful places. The plant kingdom holds immense fascination for Dana, and her work is about her relationship to the natural world, not as a representation but as a kind of absorbing experience, which she hopes will resonate with the viewer. Memory plays a big part in the way she approaches painting.
‘Glimpses of light, of forms, shadows and shapes stay in my mind to be recalled, sometimes years later. I may not know quite where they come from, but the emotional resonance is still there.’
Dana spent most of her childhood summers roaming around Spain with her parents, in a seemingly endless road trip across vast, ochre plains punctuated by gardens of unimaginable beauty and tranquillity. Her current work is aresponse to the memories of those places and that time.
Mel Day was inspired to start creating in wire in the 1990’s by imagining her drawings of invented characters floating in free space. Mel says that wire is an addictive material with endless possibilities and she continues to teach herself and others new techniques. Circus, myth, carnival and human relationships are on going themes for her mixed media figures. She makes wire birds, which often refer to traditional folklore. Mel has a great love of words and poetry and writes short and long poems in wire, often to commission. She is working with Haiku writers at present. Mel says she really enjoys the privilege of sharing in her customers’ treasured words, which frequently celebrate memorable moments. Mel is working on a set of pieces based on natural forms especially for the Pool House this summer.
Nicola Henshaw tells stories through wood. She creates work which is both sculptural and functional, drawing upon myth and folktale to inform each piece she makes.
Nicola studied Three Dimensional Design at Wolverhampton University, specialising in wood. On graduating, she received a Crafts Council Grant to set up her first studio in London. Nicola has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has had work commissioned by a wide range of private, corporate and public clients, including The Forestry Commission and The National Trust. She lives and works in the New Forest, Hampshire.
Jane is a stained glass artist. She loves to experiment with mark making and surface decoration, texture and imagery, combining traditional and contemporary techniques.
She is inspired by the landscape of the Peak District (where she lives) and its forms and the marks made by human intervention on the landscape.
Each of these stained glass leaves is unique and hand crafted. She starts with a simple leaf shape and cut the glass to fit. I use photographic imagery in the form of digitally produced enamel transfers which I fire onto the glass. These are images of textures from nature such as stone, foliage as well as manmade patterns. The glass is painted using traditional stained glass paint. “ I try to work in a spontaneous way, working from sketch books and photos.” The glass is then fired again at a lower temperature, and then more painting and more firing. The pieces of glass are eventually joined with lead and then soldered together
MATT AND AMANDA CAINES
Matt & Amanda are artists who have worked in parallel with their separate practices for 28 years. Amanda is a mixed-media artist. For her work she draws upon her large collection of materials she has gathered over many years, these range from, glass, wood, metal and ceramics. She produces paintings, stitch work hangings, sculptures and jewellery. Amanda has shown her work both nationally and internationally
Matt is a sculptor working in a variety of stones as well as wood, nut and pieces of naturally shed antler. He has worked on marble projects in Carrara in Italy and on found whale bone carvings with Inuit sculptors in Arctic Canada.
For the past four years they have been collaborating and immersing themselves in working together, where one idea can be the starting point for a number of responses in several of the mediums with which they work. Stitch work wall hangings become the starting point for pen & ink drawings which in turn lead to stone carvings that give rise to necklaces. Work is started without a preconception of where it will lead and can change many times as it is passed and filtered through both artists’ viewpoints.
The differing specialisms they jointly possess, lead to a strong set of contrasts that shows in the work as a whole vision, two individuals with one goal. Intersection, a point common to lines or surfaces that intersect. This definition is certainly true of the work of Amanda and Matt Caines, whose stitched and drawn lines have often criss-crossed while running parallel in life & art.
Hilke MacIntyre was born and grew up in Germany near the Danish border. She studied at the College for Art & Architecture in Kiel/Germany and after a diploma in architecture worked for a few years in various architect’s offices.
1995 she moved to Scotland and started working as an artist. She now lives with her family near St Andrews. Her ceramic reliefs, paintings and linocuts and are exhibited in many galleries throughout Britain.
“I work in a simplified figurative style and enjoy using bold shapes, strong colours and patterns. The world around me, especially nature, animals and people, give me plenty ideas for pictures. Particular influences are primitive art, artists of the early 20th century and contemporary design.”
Born in 1950, Peter began working in potteries from 1967 in between travelling to various parts of the world and absorbing different cultures. In 1974 Peter moved to St. Ives, Cornwall helping his family establish a pottery on the Penbeagle Estate.
Self taught, he established his own pottery in 1976 working in earthenware. Over the years his method of working has evolved, he now works in reduction fired stoneware and porcelain, specialising in specific varieties of individual Ash Glazes.
Peter uses a self built gas fired reduction kiln of some 36 cu.ft. for both domestic and individual pieces.He built an Anagama kiln in 2004 which has enabled him to explore surface decoration that is not possible in the gas kiln. From 2013 to 2014, Peter was on the board of the Leach Pottery in St. Ives. His work is sold at his studio, galleries and exhibitions
Her baskets and sculptures are woven mainly from willow and hedgerow materials.
She aims to construct strong comfortable baskets and forms that sit reassuringly in their surroundings. She began weaving over twenty years ago and has become increasingly interested in shape and form. She also makes the most lovely pea frames and works to commission. Susan is a member of the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen
In 2011 she completed a City and Guilds diploma in Creative Basketry which gave me a great insight into many methods of working. In 2012 she was awarded The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship and spent two weeks studying with Master Basket Maker David Drew in France. There she studied a number of techniques and skills and learnt particularly to ‘look’ and that is what I am continuing to do.
In 2015 she undertook a collaborative project with milliner Sarah Cant and she made a series of extraordinary willow hats that were part of the touring project ‘Two Make’ Some of these will be seen at the Fresh Air preview party
Artist and garden designer Jeni Cairns has always been inspired by the natural landscape that has surrounded her most of her life .A childhood spent exploring the farmland , lanes and areas reclaimed by nature have left a lasting impression. Working in a variety of mediums but now mainly focusing on metal and drawing. Jeni often uses pre-used industrial materials such as oil drums and agricultural machinery as well as new steel and Corten steel to create her work.
“I find the medium of metal a perfect way to express my ideas on nature, there’s a delicacy yet enduring strength and resilience in nature as it always (I hope) finds a way to survive and flourish.”
For the metal relief sculptures Jeni has taken inspiration from her own garden the birds busy in the hedgerow and trees, the life that abounds by the pond and the hedgehog that comes out at night. Sometime the pieces are left with their patina while others are shot blasted and powder coated in a monochrome palette.
Ruth Molloy studied graphic design at the Limerick School of Art and Design, the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and has a Masters in Animation from University of the West of England. After a career spanning 15 years as a graphic designer for TV in Ireland and the UK, Ruth became a full-time artist, working from her studio in Bristol . Paint was her first medium, representing her close connection with the west coast in both countries, and this theme has influenced her designs in steel.
The weight and texture of her pieces is key, and far removed from design practises in her previous career, where everything existed on tape and seen for a few seconds. Her technique is a lengthy process, layering primers and acid blockers to stop the steel rusting underneath the patina. The patina then needs more layers of sealers and varnishes to stop it rusting further. Pigment is used at times to highlight some element of her design. Most of her work is intended for indoors but they can go outside and will slowly change with the elements.
“In 2013 I changed direction, away from painting. My work combines digital technology with a rusted patina creating a style of sculpture that has a fluid line. The shadow is an integral part of the piece as it shortens and lengthens in daylight, if the piece is indoors, looks stunning when lit by candlelight”
Peter Lanyon works out of a Victorian farm building on the beautiful South Devon coast. He makes furniture, teaches green wood furniture making, and runs large scale community furniture projects working with local people.
His principal material is ‘green’, or unseasoned wood, which he combines with contemporary materials and techniques. His approach is not one of nostalgia for a past way of doing things, but in re-imagining how the wonderful material and techniques of green woodworking can be made even more relevant in today’s world. His process echoes the work of the bodgers of the past who were operating out of the same needs as we have today; using local, sustainable and renewable resources, reducing energy consumption and transportation costs. These are all incredibly important factors in how we produce artefacts today. “It seems to me that no piece of furniture can really be called ‘contemporary’ if it doesn’t address these very real issues. We’ve just taken a long time to remember it makes sense to work in this way.”
I was born in Prague.I studied medicine and worked as an anatomist. In 1985 I moved to Britain. I studied ceramics at Croydon College of Art and Design. Set up my first studio in London with the help of a Crafts Council Setting Up Grant. Now I live in Bristol, and work from my home based clay studio and from my stone carving studio at Blaise Castle Stables.
My work is figurative, expressive and narrative. I coil and pinch large vessels and sculptures from clay and porcelain. I paint them freely with and slips and oxides, use them as my canvases. I carve sculpture in Bath stone and Portland stone.I draw in ink, dry pastel and charcoal and love using watercolour and tempera. I love sketching from life.
The life around me, the people with their ordinary lives, are my main source of inspiration. I also draw from music, literature, poetry and nature. I am on lookout for special moments, situations and stories.
Simon produces a wide range of terracotta garden ware from his studio in Hay-on Wye. The larger pieces are made to commission. He work reflects his long standing interest in classical form and proportion. He also takes pleasure in adopting a looser approach that exploits the softer qualities of clay. The pots are constructed using a combination of throwing, press-moulding and coiling. His recent design practice has been inspired by two residencies in China where he has been exploring the virtues of porcelain and surface printing decoration. His garden pots are high fired to bring out the rich colour of the clay and slips and to ensure that they are frost-proof. He also runs a popular and exciting gallery in Hay on Wye.
Tim Blades has been making jewellery for nearly 40 years, he now works from a studio in his garden near Westonbirt. His current work is based on flower and plant forms . He prefers to work from actual flowers rather than photographs which do not show enough detail. He then carves the original model in very hard wax under a microscope.
If I want a new design I can just go out into the garden and there is always something to inspire me, summer or winter. The whole process happens in the workshop, modelling , casting and finishing, this has led me into new techniques such as making hollow forms which would not have otherwise been possible.
The original models can take several days to carve and refine, it is painstaking work. Lost Wax casting gives me the opportunity to reproduce these affordably. It is a very intense process, carving away very small amounts of wax at a time, and involves a good deal of study of the construction of petals and stems, and reproducing the subtle textures on petals. I also do commission pieces and occasionally cast for sculptors in silver and bronze.