This project will consist of a series of site-specific commissions, residencies, and curated shows, in a range of media, taking a different approach to the theme of ‘a landscape of objects’. It aims to encourage research by artists into the spirit of place, local identity and rural context in their making.
This project comprises of two elements - A site-specific exhibition and a residency programme culminating in an exhibition.
The site-specific exhibition set in the beautiful gardens of Forde Abbey. Water is a large element of the gardens, with several large ponds with the highest powered fountain in England. Therefore the artworks will celebrate the importance of water at Forde Abbey gardens.
Artists: Anne Marie O’Sullivan and Tom McWalter, Eleanor Lakelin and Vezzini &Chen.
Annemarie O’Sullivan and Tom McWalter’s work draws on the curves of the landscape and rhythms found in the natural world. Inspired by agricultural containers from the past they use traditional weaving and binding techniques. This connection with nature draws them to site-specific projects that are steeped in history and landscape.
Annemarie O’Sullivan has a deep connection with water as she originally trained as a swimmer. She feels the rhythm of weaving and binding is similar to the movement of a body in water.
Eleanor Lakelin’s work resembles sea urchins with their pointy texture or objects that have been eroded by water, leaving smooth flowing circular movements on their surface. The work has a deep connection with nature and the landscape. Through turning and carving, vessels grow and emerge referencing seeds, pollen and bark.
Lakelin will create a series of forms in wood referencing the shapes and textures in the landscape of Forde Abbey.
Vezzini & Chen’s work is inspired by the structure and geometry of natural forms. Their work is a dialogue between the simplicity and intricacy that one finds in nature and it is this duality that is the source of their inspiration. Vezzini & Chen bring these two aesthetic worlds together, combining fluid forms with intricate detail, repetition, texture and geometry. Their work is characterised by the repetition of organic forms.
Light plays a central role within the work, the designers drawing on their experience of diving, seeing the refraction of light underwater and its reflections on coral and marine life. Residency Artists: Kaori Tatebayashi and Katie Spragg
Exhibtion: 23 September - 27 October 2017
Private View 6-8PM 22 September 2017
The residency will be a retreat from city life to be inspired by the gardens and history of the Forde Abbey. Focusing on its strong arts and crafts early history. The residency will involve drawing painting and photography with the result of the residency shown in an exhibition within the house.
Kaori Tatebayashi is interested in plants and gardening. She tries to preserve the fleeting moments of flowering plants. By stopping the clock and also removing colour, these ordinary objects become something extraordinary and will resemble a ghostly apparition in your eyes.
Katie Spragg’s work combines ceramic objects, installation and moving image to create momentary experiences that allude to the amazement and wonder of being outside in nature.
The pieces offer the viewer a space to daydream; evoking distant, possibly half-imagined memories. The contrasting situations presented play on the conflict between our sublime fantasy of nature and the often more mundane reality of our experience of it.
While the fired ceramic pieces capture a moment in time, the animations describe the dynamic, receptive qualities that clay and grass share. They record the durational element of making and the elastic sense of time that is felt when in nature.
Workshop for schools by Katie Spragg on Thursday 18 May 2017
Both exhibitions will be on during Somerset Art Weeks 23 September - 8 October
Commissioned by Somerset Art Works
Hosted by Forde Abbey
Funded by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts Lottery programme