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2018 Celebrating Art in the Garden at Urchfont Manor

The Friends 2018 exhibition took place at Urchfont Manor by kind permission of the owner Chris Legg. Details of the 23 artists who took part together with an image of their work are shown below.

Adele Christensen, Windblown Adele Christensen
‘The inspiration for my work is nature; capturing its ephemeral and transitional moments and its illusionary qualities in my art. This fascination is rooted in the exploration and play from my childhood; pebbles changing from wet to dry on the beach or petals becoming translucent while floating in a bowl of water. In my work I try to reflect the interplay between light and colour in a material and more permanent form.’ Adele works in fused and cast float glass, using enamels, lustres and careful spacing to build up layers and maximise the light refraction and texture of the piece. Her work varies from an architectural scale, or as here, to smaller components forming an installation. This work is Adele’s response to its wider setting in the garden, glass placed in a reflecting pool rather as water lilies might float on a pond. Here the shifting patterns of weather create a continuously fresh experience within the space. Adele’s first degree was in Glass and Ceramic Design at Stourbridge. She subsequently lived with her young family for eight years in Denmark, where her interest in glass was re-ignited by working in collaboration with an established Danish glass studio. More recently she has been interested in exploring how ceramic and glass can work together; and in 2016 Adele completed an MA in Ceramic and Design at Bath Spa University. Adele exhibits widely in this country and has been invited to execute larger projects by European glass facilitators. Recent exhibitions include Glass Glamour at Quenington and the International Festival of Glass at Stourbridge 2017. Her future ambition is to work at an architectural scale in a wider environmental context.
Akiko Hirai, Moon Jar Akiko Hirai
‘You sometimes find a connection between two or more things that appear to be completely irrelevant. We do not see them as they do not exist, yet occasionally there are events that trigger a sense of connection. It is almost shocking when this sensation is awoken. …. So we gather trivial information from our everyday life and store it in a corner of our head. It is so unimportant and small if it exists solely as a fact. However, when it becomes part of something it all makes sense. What is the connection between my work and this small piece of writing? I try to put similar thoughts of mine into my ceramic pieces. They should not have a clear message as they are supposed to fit somewhere in the users mind.’ The moon jars exhibited here demonstrate how Akiko’s work represents a fusion of Japanese and British ceramic traditions. The way in which the thick layers of clay and glaze flow down the work is also typical. Akiko was born and grew up in Japan where she graduated with a BA in Letters from Aichi Gakuin University. On settling here she decided to shift her focus and graduated with a degree in ceramic design from Central St Martin’s School of Graphics and Industrial Design. She is a former Head of Ceramics at Kensington and Chelsea College. Currently she works on commissions and work for exhibitions at her London studio. Other exhibitions where Akiko is showing this year include a British Studio Pottery exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and two solo exhibitions, one at Flow Gallery in London and the other at the Craft Potters Association also in London.
Alice Jennings, Cumulus Alice Jennings     (Winner of the Ruth Tait Award 2017)
‘In my work I try to convey my own actions through the shape and form of the materials I use. I grew up with a brother with Down’s syndrome and this made me question the idea of beauty and what it means to each of us.’ Alice’s award winning piece ‘Cumulus’ is designed to heighten the senses and connect the viewer to their own, by raising awareness of the intricacies of the beauty within its natural setting. It is intended to be imposing yet in harmony with its surroundings and to relate the viewer to the sounds and physical textures of the natural world. In order to achieve this Alice has enhanced ‘Cumulus’ with a soundscape, using the sounds of the space recorded here at Urchfont Manor. This soundscape can be accessed from your phone via the QR code, where you can listen to it on a web page. This combined with the piece itself creates a heightened physical and aural form of the surroundings by connecting sight, touch and sound. In her words, ‘This hidden aspect of the piece should not dominate but instead entice and intrigue like the many organic shapes and forms that surround and seduce us.’ Born in Wiltshire, Alice studied at the University of the West of England and now lives and practices in Bristol.     To listen to the Cummulus audio file click here
Alison Berman, House Alison Berman
‘Enquiry, experimentation and exploration are key to my work. How people react to a piece – whether with curiosity, amusement, puzzlement or simply getting the joke – is part of the life of my sculptures. These reactions are vital to my practice.’ Alison works in different media and at different scales – from small found objects indoors to large resin forms out of doors – always with the intention of investigating a range of interesting ideas and exploring these with her audience. In this exhibition Alison’s horses are able to move gently rather as two animals might when relaxing in the shade of an enormous beech. The effect, especially from a distance, is quite magical. Alison has two other installations nearby. Listen intently and the visitor might be entranced by the sounds coming from one. Both are sure to delight and intrigue visitors. They are sure to be a talking point in any garden. Alison is a member of the Oxford Art Society and has exhibited widely in this country and in France. Other sculpture gardens that she has exhibited with include the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden and Fresh Air in Quenington. Some visitors may have seen her wonderful three piece fountain installed in the millrace at Quenington in 2017. It was one of the highlights of the exhibition and unsurprisingly, the owners decided it should stay and continue to delight visitors in future.
Charlie Macpherson, Uncurling Olive Charlie Macpherson
‘I design work that invites the viewer to look more closely at the intricate details, revealing more than is evident from a first glance. As a maker, I have learnt to work with the fluidity of the material, rather than force it in a direction it doesn’t want to go. Each piece captures a moment, the glass almost frozen in time, from the heat and fluidity of molten glass to the movement as it cools.’ Internationally acclaimed glass artist, Charlie Macpherson, creates unique pieces of hand-blown contemporary glass for gardens and interiors. Creating new work for this exhibition, Charlie has drawn inspiration from the surrounding garden environment, balancing the beautiful simplicity of his forms with a more complex use of texture, line and pattern. Charlie’s pieces begin life in the hot glass studio, using traditional blown glass techniques. He builds up layers of glass, trapping cane details between each layer, creating a depth and thickness that is exposed during the polishing processes. Once cooled the pieces are polished and textured, revealing intricate details, adding optical reflections and refractions to the thick polished surfaces. Having worked with many of the leading studios in the UK, Charlie also gained experience working in Holland alongside international artists from as far afield as South Korea, Israel and the Czech Republic, before setting up his studio alongside his wife and fellow glass artist Amanda Notarianni in 2001. The stimulating and aesthetic nature of his work has led to pieces being included in public and private collections in Europe, America, Hong Kong, Australia and Canada. Each piece is signed by Charlie, adding to their provenance, and providing a reference for collectors.
David Gunther, Ash David Gunther
‘I create sculptures by confronting the variance between experience and our recollection of experience in memory. In doing so I work at a wide scale and in different mediums, always looking to match form with movement in ways that engage the viewer.’ This approach to his work is well illustrated by the pieces in the current exhibition. For his pieces ‘Echo One, Two and Three’, David constructed the frames, and etched the glass. The torso, ‘The Woodsman’, was made using clay modelling over a steel armature and then cold cast. David lives and works in the township of Laugharne in the house of Dylan Thomas’ parents. The house includes a gallery of work by a local collective of artists including ceramicists, painters and a photographer all showing work alongside David’s sculptures. In 2017 David completed his formal studies on graduating from St David Trinity (Carmarthen School of Art) in Fine Art, Sculpture, Casting, Carving and Construction. His recent exhibitions include the British Museum Medal exhibition, The Society of Portrait Sculptors exhibition, both in London, Fresh Air at Quenington and in both 2016 and 2017 he has been Artist in Residence at the Dylan Thomas Boathouse.
Dominic Clare, I Was In Two Minds Dominic Clare
‘I communicate through making things, things that are secret, personal, sensitive, strong, big and bold.’ Dominic’s art draws on a range of cross-cultural influences from his birthplace in Ethiopia, to his interest in ancient history and organic structures. He shot blasts and burns the wood, exposing the grain by blowing away the soft summer growth. Burning transforms the wood, soft and charred or polished like black marble. Both methods tighten the surface tension to reveal purity of form. As the pieces in this exhibition illustrate the impact on the viewer is particularly powerful and at the same time there is elegance in their beauty. After completing a degree in Fine Art at Leeds Polytechnic Dominic worked for the sculptor David Nash. He then moved to Wales where he set up an independent workshop. Dominic’s other interest is in reworking found objects, whether from rummaging in scrapyards or walking along the beach. This long-standing interest has been given a new impetus recently following Dominic’s move to a former scrapyard in Wiltshire. There he has renovated old buildings to establish a gallery space/workshop complex and in the process has found numerous metal objects which can be turned into playful smaller sculptures. Dominic has undertaken numerous public commissions throughout Wales and has exhibited widely, most recently at Prema Arts Centre and in 2017 at Biddestone Manor and Hay on Wye.
Edward Willis, Equilibrium Edward Willis
‘I think of my sculptures as suspended animations, lying at rest, waiting for a passing breeze to breathe life into them.’ Edward has a degree in philosophy from Bristol University and in his mobiles and kinetic sculptures he explores ideas of fragility and strength as well as balance and resolution. Drawing inspiration from the natural world and the human figure, his work is often suggestive of skeletal structures, in the abstract. The pieces have a sense of harmony, rhythm and progression and are intended to be enjoyed both as elegant, striking forms as well as objects for contemplation and meditation. Whilst each sculpture outwardly appears to express a settled tranquillity, it actually relies for its existence on the internal tensions resulting from the pull of one part against every other. Thus, the whole is comprised of individual elements that work in collaboration to produce a system in a kind of dynamic equilibrium. As well as undertaking commissions, Edward’s work sells in galleries throughout the UK and he takes part in exhibitions with the Bath Society of Artists and in Open Studio networks.
Giles Penny, Waving Giles Penny RWA
‘My focus of expression is the human form, which acts as a vehicle for me to explore the interaction between physical and abstract forms.’ Giles’ initial formal training was in drawing and painting and he continues to work in these mediums. His sculpture often develops from a drawing and sometimes a piece of sculpture will be used as the basis for a two dimensional work. He works in a variety of mediums including clay, wax, plaster, wood and resin. The resulting form is typically cast into bronze. Most of Giles’s sculptures are large scale, many are in relief and can be seen as mid-way between drawing and more conventional three dimensional sculpture. He is currently working on an edition of screen prints and a collection of large paintings. In 2017 Giles was elected as an Academician to the Royal West of England Academy. His major public works have been installed in many locations including London, Wolverhampton and Ipswich as well as in Bruton where he now lives.
Hayley Jones, Somerset Cranes Hayley Jones
‘I love the sky and the sea, the colours and creations of nature, flowers, plants and trees. I love my garden, and my two pet ducks. I love wood, metal and especially rust and not forgetting the sparkle of glitter. I love the thought of fairies and magical worlds. These are the things that inspire my work.’ Hayley is a self-taught artist working from a studio in her garden in Clevedon, North Somerset. She is inspired by the birds that come into the garden and the ones she sees on the riverbank that the studio backs onto. Her close observation is evident in all of Hayley’s wire sculptures. The smaller pieces are often mounted on old garden tools and galvanised watering cans where small birds are perched as if alighting to rest. Hayley also enjoys making larger one off designs. These are influenced by the recycled items she finds and collects; seeing old garden implements, wooden gates no longer in use, buffers, sleepers and discarded slices of interesting wood, each inspires her vision for a piece. The result sets up an often gently humorous relationship between Hayley’s handiwork and that of an anonymous previous maker. The pieces displayed in this exhibition introduce a quirky dynamic to the kitchen garden but would look equally at home in any garden setting.
Jacquie Primrose, Bees Jacquie Primrose
‘I have always had endless creative projects on the go and was always in pursuit of new crafts to try. I spent several years as a jewellery designer working with glass beads and gemstones. However, I switched direction completely, as a result of enrolling on a mosaics course, where I found a medium and process that I felt really connected to. I came away bursting with inspiration, enthusiasm and ideas and began my exciting journey into weaving colours, textures and patterns into my own mosaic work. Creating mosaic art for outside combines my love of gardening with my fascination for the marriage between glass and light.’ Jacquie’s making begins with sketches for a particular design. Her ideas are often inspired by what she observes in nature. The shape of each design begins with a Perspex base. She then cuts individual pieces of high quality sheet glass including translucent, clear, opaque, textured and mirrored glass. Each piece has its edges smoothed before being glued onto the Perspex. Jacquie loves to add extra texture using glass nuggets, beads, pieces of tiles or recycled items, each piece fixed in the same way. Once the glue is dry, Jacquie applies a grout premixed with sealant to complete the overall design and accentuate the vibrant colours of the glass. The result is an original piece of imaginative artwork that is perfect for outside as it lights up in response to sunlight to give ever changing bursts of colours and patterns. This effect is magnified where wind adds the dimension of gentle movement. Jacquie teaches mosaic workshops at her Swindon studio, where she also makes individual pieces for sale and works to designs from private commissions.
Jilly Sutton, Ponderer Jilly Sutton MRSS
‘The warmth of the wood, the quality of the grain and the life embodied in every tree are reflected in the way I express my passion for the human head as a sculptural form.’ Jilly trained as a sculptor at Exeter College of Art. Her inspiration comes from the ancient trees and woodland that surround her studio and home on the River Dart in Devon. The works exhibited here are stone casts from the original carving and are typical of Jilly’s representation of the human head. All have a degree of abstraction and each captures a mood perhaps of contemplation or serenity, and for some visitors, maybe a sense of introspection. As a result, in their different ways, each head speaks to our imagination and leaves us with a sense of shared human emotions. Jilly’s work is exhibited here and internationally, and her pieces are held in private and public collections in both the UK and abroad. Galleries in this country that have exhibited her work include Hannah Peschar, The Lemon St Gallery, the Fine Art Society, the RWA, Chelsea Flower Show and many more. Her sculpture of the head of the former poet laureate Andrew Motion is in the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection. She is a Member of the Royal Society of Sculptors.
John OConnor, Alchemy John O’Connor
‘Our emotional state of being is reflected in the physical. John’s work demonstrates this beautifully.’ With their often extended and exaggerated physical forms, John’s sculptures are incredibly emotive and expressive. Blending the physical with the emotional he explores the fabric of his own internal worlds. His work demonstrates an honest and open expression of the ‘states of mind that are inherent in us all’ with a visual dialogue that we can all relate to – taking us on a journey to a place where familiarity and shared emotional expressions unite us. His figurative forms manage to reveal an intimate examination of our reflective self in a visually stunning sculptural form that will enrich any environment. John was born in 1967 and trained at the Sculpture Academy, London Bridge. He exhibits widely in this country and abroad. In 2017 exhibitions of his work included the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden annual exhibition, ‘Sculpt’ at Kew and the 10th Biennale Sculpture Show at Gallerie Gilbert Dufois in France. Recent public commissions include ‘Joy’ the figure of a child for the Morgan Stanley Garden at Great Ormond Street Hospital, a piece originally shown in Morgan Stanley’s Chelsea garden designed by Chris Beardshaw
Lynn Baker, Tulips2 Lynn Baker
‘My work is based around the themes of “movement and change”. Much of my inspiration comes from the way that the light changes as it crosses the Lincolnshire Wolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty, where I live and work. My work often has a hidden meaning and the breaking down of barriers and boundaries, both physical and human is important. When piecing together glass that has been broken and putting it together in a new and different way, it is possible to create something of great beauty.’ Lynn uses several techniques in her work. The pieces shown in the walled garden are made using kiln formed glass. This involves carefully cutting and breaking glass into individual pieces and rebuilding it. The kiln is then fired to fuse and slump each piece. It is delicate work and the result is a series of unique pieces which are then mounted onto steel rods for display in the border. Small amounts of clear glass are fused to the surface of each flower giving the effect of raindrops on the petals from a recent storm, reminding us of the importance of water to our planet. Other work by Lynn, some of which is for sale in the shop, uses heated molten 24% lead crystal glass. The blowing process calls for quick thinking but provides endless possibilities. Lynn specialises in working with the graal technique. This involves making blanks or embryos which are cooled and then heavily sand carved and engraved before being reheated. The embryos are picked up on a blowing iron, coated with clear glass and blown into the required shape and size. The complications involved in this process means there is a likelihood that something could go wrong at any stage! Other kiln formed pieces are on display, based around the themes of boundaries. Oxides are often added to colour the glass and Lynn carefully controls the trapping of air between each layer, which in effect traps a moment in time. Lynn is a graduate of the International Glass Centre and the University of Lincoln. She exhibits widely both here and abroad most recently at the Hillier Gardens in Hampshire and Godinton House and Gardens in Kent. She will be taking part in the Doddington Hall sculpture event in Lincolnshire in August and September later this year.
Patricia Volk, Source Brown Patricia Volk FRSS
‘My obsession is to try to catch a very simple form, then to enhance it with colour. I encourage each piece to have an individual character and drama of its own.’ Patricia has been creating prize-winning ceramic sculpture for over 20 years in a style that is highly distinctive and recognisable. She often juxtaposes pure shape and colour, sometimes using contradictions of power and fragility, grace and groundedness, which symbolically reflect human relationships, yet are timeless and mythic. All of her pieces are unique. She uses a variety of techniques, from coiling to slab- building. They are created in fired clay, constructed and finished with acrylic paint. Patricia’s work has been acquired by public collections such as the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, as well as the private collections of Lord Carrington, Mary Portas, Damon de Laszlo and many others. She has exhibited widely in this country and internationally; at Chichester Cathedral, the Royal West of England Academy and numerous galleries. She was recently made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Sculptors, and was a guest speaker at the Ceramic Artists Association of Israel symposium at Tel Hai, lecturing in Jerusalem at the Israel Museum and at the Bet Benyamini Centre in Tel Aviv in 2017.
Peter Beard, Head Form Peter Beard
‘My interest in landscapes, water and movement and the desire to produce a tactile and beautiful form, has resulted in the series of sculptures that I now do. With simple titles like Sail Form and Head I leave the interpretation of the work and the stories that can be read within the piece to the beholder.’ Peter currently makes thrown and hand built ceramics in oxidised stoneware. Each piece goes through a long process that builds texture and colour using combinations of shiny, matt and semi matt glazes built up layer by layer before firing takes place. Wax resist is used to create pattern and to isolate each glaze during a build process that might extend over many months. The resulting intricate textures as exemplified in the exhibition pieces here are now a characteristic feature of Peter’s work. Often these patterns and textures relate back to his interest in landscape and to features created by wind and water, by ripples along the sand or by the growth of lichen on stone. Most recently Peter has diversified into working with cast iron, stone and bronze, and examples are seen here. Peter is a member of the Craft Potters Association of Great Britain and the Academy of International Ceramics. He has worked extensively as a guest artist in residence in other countries including the USA, Hungary and Japan. His work is held in public collections in this country including in Burnley City Art Gallery, Norwich Museum and Stoke on Trent City Museum and in private and public collections overseas including Spain, Korea, USA, Taiwan, Ireland, Switzerland and Germany. In 2017 Peter exhibited at Ceramic Art London, at two international ceramics exhibitions in Germany and had a one man show in Taiwan.
Rosie Musgrave, Waymark III Rosie Musgrave MRSS
‘Many of my earliest memories are of being amongst mountains and rocks, of collecting stones in my pockets. I have always been drawn to the beauty of stone and am conscious that I work with a material that is millions of years old and has helped shape and inform our landscape.’ Rosie carved her first piece of stone in her twenties. She became apprenticed to a number of established sculptors and then studied figurative sculpture in clay, wood and stone at Sir John Cass and City and Guilds Art School in London. In recent years Rosie’s work has become more abstract. Although she uses machine tools, much of her work is carved by hand using hammers and chisels, rasps and abrasives. The WayMark pieces shown here in the orchard are characteristic of her approach. Their simplicity of form and the link they make to more traditional forms of milestones trigger memories of places travelled in the past. Here they are timeless and maybe mark the way in our increasingly fractured world. In Rosie’s own words; ‘I carve stone as an invitation to touch. I believe that the relevance of touch-stones is increasingly important in this visual age. As I work I am constantly challenged by those conundrums that emerge during the carving of stone; and by this ancient and enduring material whose qualities of stillness, sensuality and presence continue to inspire me.’ Whilst some of Rosie’s work can be found in the public arena, most find their place in gardens and domestic spaces. In 2017 she exhibited at the London Art Fair and with the Lemon Street Gallery, the Garden Gallery, and Delamore Arts. Rosie is a Member of the Royal Society of Sculptors. She has recently moved to Bristol where she has a workshop in a small artist’s studio complex.
Ruth Molloy, Summertime Panel Ruth Molloy
‘I’ve always liked the shape of trees, birds, and insects, and the shadows they make. Their adaption to their environment and their response to the changing climate is of particular interest to me. Changes in the numbers of our indigenous species, insects and bees in particular, have inspired my new work this year.’ Ruth studied art and design in LSAD and NCAD in her home country, Ireland. Then followed a career in graphic design in the broadcasting industry, including a Masters degree in Animation at the University of the West of England. She now works full time from her studio in Bristol where she paints large seascapes and develops her designs in mild steel. These are cut in Sheffield and Bristol and are patinated by hand in the studio, or left to rust naturally outdoors. To date, Ruth’s work in steel has been at a relatively modest scale and for interior spaces. The opportunity to exhibit here has allowed her to develop new designs at a larger scale. The results on display in the orchard illustrate her design skills as well as the versatility of steel as a medium that, as here, can transform the appearance of a garden setting.
Sara Ingleby-McKenzie, Maharani 2 Sara Ingleby-McKenzie
“The imaginary is what tends to become real.” Andre Breton ‘My work reflects the imaginary persona I give to each of my sculptures.’ Sara’s approach is wonderfully expressed in her new pieces created with the Spiral in mind. Her witty and glamorous ‘ladies’ are definitely at home in their garden settings. They are dressed to kill – or at the very least to create an impression. Are they waiting for a lover, or perhaps a secret meeting? These ladies exude confidence, elegance, and style: they take no prisoners and aren’t to be messed with. Their colouring and clothes, shoes, and hats are key to their characters. The result is magical - combining a sense of fun and curiosity as each figure sets off to find a route through the clipped beech spiral to other parts of the exhibition. Whatever their motives for being there they will delight visitors discovering them and would bring joy to any garden setting. Building up her pieces in clay over a steel armature, Sara’s work is cast into bronze, and she patinates each piece uniquely in rich colours to suit their characters. Sara has been creating unique sculpture since 1982 when she graduated from the Bath Academy of Art, where she was awarded the Henry Moore Foundation Scholarship. Eschewing the modern art teaching which had become the mainstream she was delighted to have the models of the life room mostly to herself, and there to develop her drawing skill and to capture the art of line and movement which underpins all of her work. Her pieces are widely exhibited in galleries in this country and abroad and she has undertaken numerous commissions for both private and corporate clients, ranging from the Mayflower’s Edward Winslow stepping ashore on to Plymouth Rock for Droitwich Council, The Airline of the Year Award, Diving with Dolphins for the Nordic Swimming Federation, and many others.
Taz Pollard, Over The Breakwater Taz Pollard
‘I remember from my first day at school there was a class making clay and that was all I wanted to do. Later I was lucky to do a GCSE in ceramics at secondary school and I have been making ever since.’ Taz graduated with a BA Hons in Ceramics from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff and later gained an MA in Design and Ceramics from Bath Spa University. In 2014 she won the New Designers One Year On Award. Taz also has a teaching qualification and with a colleague combines her own practice with running courses at her studio in Devon. Ceramics is part of our everyday – we all have a favourite teacup or coffee mug. Taz’s work builds on these old traditions and adds a contemporary look either by working at a large scale or by combining clay with other materials such as rubber or metal, and always by adding splashes of vibrant colour. In this exhibition Taz has placed three large glazed pots in juxtaposition with the formal layout of a newly planted gravel garden. Here the colours sing with the purple tones of the irises. On the lawn her tall forms perfectly complement the lines of the newly constructed pergola. Taz exhibits her work widely most recently in 2017 at London Craft Week, the Delamore Sculpture Exhibition, Burton Art Gallery and Museum Showcase and the Devon Guild of Craftsmen Spotlight Exhibition.
Tom Hiscocks, Horse Tom Hiscocks
‘My work is an exploration of the way we experience things. We have an outside layer which, although it may bear some of the physical signs of the things we have experienced, will not reveal how we felt about the way we experience “being”. I play with the idea of layering our life experiences as an exploration of what we are.’ Tom is a Wiltshire based figurative artist working mainly in laser cut steel. Each piece is designed to respond to its setting and to change before us depending on the angle of our approach and on the light and any background movement. From some perspectives a work is seen though the layers and can appear to have little substance to it; from others it will appear as a solid form. In 2013 Tom graduated as a mature student in Fine Art from the Cambridge Art School. He is now represented by a number of galleries in the UK and has sold work widely in this country, America and Europe.
Victoria Westaway, Pomona Victoria Westaway
‘My work aims to represent elements from our natural world. The techniques used offer me the flexibility to bring my energetic sketches to life, creating forms and figures that sit harmoniously in their environment.’ Victoria graduated in theatre design and initially was a maker of puppets and theatrical costumes and it was here she developed her passion for working in willow. Later, on a round the world trip, she observed people in rural communities making beautiful objects by weaving with whatever materials were locally to hand. On coming home she was inspired to return to weaving in willow in a new more creative way. Each piece of Victoria’s sculpture starts with a welded armature made from mild steel. It’s here she decides if the piece will be woven from willow or wire. If willow is the chosen material it is woven and interwoven to gradually build up the desired form. The finished willow works are coated with wood preservative partly to bring out the natural colour of the willow and partly to extend its lifespan. If wire is the material of choice it gives her the opportunity to create powerful pieces that encapsulate her love of texture and mass. These works are then galvanised or powder coated. Victoria works to commission and has worked with garden designers for both the RHS’s Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows. Private collectors, architects and corporations have all commissioned her work. Victoria works from her quirky converted ambulance station in Devon where she makes to order and for selected exhibitions in the UK.
Dominic Clare Inner whelk.jpg Dominic Clare
‘My art is an emotional response coming from the depths of the unconscious ‘

Dominic communicates through making. His life experiences are combined with cross cultural influences from his birthplace in Ethiopia, and interests in organic structures and the human figure.

His affinity to wood was deeply ingrained at an early age, by beachcombing the Thames at low tide and then by having an inspirational carpentry teacher at school. As a result Dominic has worked with wood for most of his life.

Dominic shot blasts and burns his wood sculpture, exposing the grain by blowing away the soft summer growth. This tightens the surface tension to reveal a purity of form with a weathered driftwood feel.

Dominic’s sculptures are like props on the stage of his life, a dreamscape of emotions, evoking another time or place. Each sculpture is a mysterious oversized object from another reality, changing the world around it.