The Woven Woodland
The sixth edition of the Waveney Valley Sculpture Trail featured artists responding to the theme of the Woven Woodland with artforms as diverse as film, carving, weaving, stained glass, welding and many more. 42 Artists were selected for the 2019 Sculpture Trail @ Raveningham. See below for examples of their work and click on the artist’s image to view their website.
Trail no.3 ‘Notice’ – Grace has created six signposts specifically for the Trail using text informed by the history, folklore, flora and fauna and literature of the site and local area. The signs are not about finding your way in a conventional sense, they are about getting lost in your thoughts and stumbling on new vistas. Five more signposts to discover as you explore the trail.
People’s Choice Winner 2019 (3rd)
Trail no.7 Norfolk based metal sculptor, presently focusing on recreating natural forms through wire and scrap. Having been influenced by sculptors, such as Robin Wright, to begin experimenting with wire and finding the manipulable medium allows me to create personalities within pieces. By building up around the initial ‘skeleton’ of the project, I begin establishing muscles, movement and a sense of character.
Trail no.13 Meg has been experimenting with new materials this year. Two heads, two kinds of entanglement in the Woven Woodland, plus some some small creatures that live in woods. Swan Woman – bronze (made with the assistance of Jim Racine/Butley Mills) – is entangled, and breaking out from brambles. The piece is about coercion and escaping from it. Ivy – Jesmonite, with leaves – is herself an entangler, a social climber, masked with makeup, using the Scots pine to reach for the top.
Trail no.2 ‘The Feeling of Being Watched’ My sculptural work is on the theme of Norfolk folklore, and the feelings created by these stories. I believe folklore is inspired by local landscapes, and landscapes suit the stories that are told within them. I intend to put the feelings of these tales back into the landscape as physical objects. One common theme I found in Norfolk folklore is how characters experience the feeling of being watched. They may think Old Shuck is following them home and turn to see nothing there. Perhaps the big, exposed, open spaces we have in Norfolk helped create this feeling of being watched which inspired the stories. In order to put this feeling of being watched into the landscape, I weave ‘towers’ in human proportions. These are intended to make the viewer initially feel as though someone is there – watching, only to realise it is just a woven object. This to show that some other presence is within the landscape, whether human or a spirit of the folklore tales. I reorder natural materials into a human made form. These towers are woven with materials collected from the area they are built in. Using materials gathered in the tower’s surroundings enables these objects to fit within their landscapes. The sculptures will all rot into the ground and react with nature during this process. I have observed new growth climbing up these structures, as nature builds onto the sculpture created.
Curator’s Choice Winner 2019
Trail no.9 ‘Vortex’ – As one enters the piece the irregular negative space created by the uneven poles juxtaposes with the formality of the construction offering up unique views and interference patterns . The shrinking space towards the middle can make the viewer uneasy. Relief comes as one exits the other side and the space opens up. The change of room throughout the piece asks questions about comfort zones and personal space.
Trail no.21 After visiting Sana’a in Yemen Bardell developed an interest in stained glass alongside his painting and drawing practice. The artist is interested in developing stained glass pieces inspired by Art Deco designs.
James Barrett – Nobbs
People’s Choice Winner 2019 (2nd)
Trail no.8 There any various sculptures available from Acorn Forge, most of which are made from recycled materials and scap metal. The stock is ever changing as each one is totally unique, but designs include dragonflies, crabs, and various birds, as well as roses and other flowers made from materials ranging from old cutlery to copper from an old hot water tank.
Barrington Farm Artists
Trail no.40 The Barrington Farm Artists will be showing a selection of 2D artworks that relate to the theme ‘The Woven Woodland’ in a variety of media including drawing, painting, printmaking and textiles. Barrington Farm is a supported studio based in Walcott on the rural North Norfolk coast.
Trail no.5 Christine has been a full-time professional sculptor since graduating from Camberwell School of Art in the 80’s. As a figurative sculptor, she works predominantly in clay, but also directly into plaster and wax. She then casts her work into bronze, bronze resin, iron resin and stone. Christine is classically trained and is now based in her own purpose-built studio at Court Robert Arts. When Christine is not in her studio, she can be found teaching her weekly Tuesday Creative Clay class at Lemon Studios Arts School Ltd or exhibiting her work at sculpture garden shows around the country. ‘Many of my family members have been artists. There have been wrought iron gate makers, dress designers, wood carvers, sculptors, landscape designers, photographers and cooks. Making things is in my genes, but I have also benefited from growing up in an art nurturing environment. My earliest memories are of drawing and sculpting with my Grandfather.’- Christine Baxter, 2018.
Trail no.4 Woodland DNA PomPom Installation. Instigated by Musician/Maker Laura Cannell following a bereavement and an urgent need to make, Woodland DNA contains over 1000 handmade pompoms. It honours time, people and invites chins upwards. Laura Cannell, Liz Cannell, Kate Ross, Bella Brown.
Trail no.17 My creative practice is based on my relationship with my environment, particularly as experienced on daily walks. I work with papier mache, recycling detritus from my life. This medium is important to me because the processes of pulping, forming, drying and sanding are like the processes of the earth: erosion and reforming, growth and decay. I translate what I see into abstracted 3D forms at various scales.
Burgh Castle Almanac
Trail no.33 Burgh Castle Almanac is an archeology and mental health project where a group of local people walk with intent at Burgh Castle Roman Fort and make art in response at Time and Tide Museum. The project runs until May 2020. The work on the trail is a collective collaboration facilitated by artists Ian Brownlie and Sue Tyler.
Laura Cannell and Polly Wright
Trail no.4 Sing as The Crow Flies. There are the voices at the end of these lines, two women are singing from inside Raveningham Church, re-voicing the marshes, just over 1000 metres from here as the crow flies.
Trail no.18 Mike creates SoundHides which encapsulate the sounds of an environment using technology to enable sound composition. Enter the SoundHide Cinema to experience the Sunrise at Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Carlton Marshes, Lowestoft, in real time, Ultra High Definition footage, and the Dawn Chorus in full Surround Sound.
Trail no.31 In a cave of white lines, dark spaces, and overhanging green is a map of held, lost, and shrouded memories. And a living dream of what may be. My map and yours might overlap or connect. Please look to see.
Trail no.11 Snug Souls. Inspired by natural forms that have grown side by side, like family members, friends or souls within a community, crocheted using yarn dyed with flora families of Raveningham.
Trail no.12 ‘Den’ Memories of childhood explorations of wild spaces, when plants felt huge and the space beneath them was a secret hiding place; crouching in this space and looking up through the layers that enrobe us.
I am an artist based in the East of England, working in a range of materials including willow and ceramics. I have been creating art and craft pieces for as long as I can remember, and have broadened my learning along the way. Learning basket making a few years ago opened up new opportunities to create three dimensional pieces. I have trained with Master Basketmakers in the west country, learning to master traditional techniques and to make willow coffins. Basketmaking is a craft that has been honed over thousands of years; the willow weaving techniques that we use now have been used for generations and links us back to much earlier times. I use these techniques in my work, but incorporate new materials and exploit the sculptural qualities of woven willow. I enjoy juxtaposing the contrasting textures of materials.
Trail no.15 Playful thoughts weaving abstractly through the mind…..water weaves….birds weave….air weaves…..glass weaving.
Weaving whimsically through the game of life.
People’s Choice Winner 2019 (1st)
Trail no.37 Tobias Ford is a British sculptor. He mainly sculpts figurative works of art from steel, welding fragments together using a self-developed method. He also exhibits art works from wire and plaster, playing on his intuitive manner of sculpting. Referred to as ‘one of the most promising artists’, HCA, capturing intent or movement, as well as the line of form and weight of gravity, inspire him.
Trail no.1 Mark is interested in the psychology of the private and the public self and the emotional tension that often ensue. He has created these works specifically for the Sculpture Trail carved from wood and stone.
Trail no.38 Ascent. The sculpture represents man clinging to the edifice of time. It is made of a bow shaped limb of yew wood which hopefully will act as the soundbox of a ‘stringed instrument’ that will resonate in the wind.
Trail no.39 Comb is made of sweet chestnut and copper. Ideas stem from the unravelling of an old church organ and influenced by the sculptor Louise Bourgeois.
Pamela Harling – Challis
Trail no.23 ‘Botany’ an assemblage of light-boxes inhabited with images gathered from Raveningham Centre garden during the first six months of 2019. Dance is the filter through which I experience space, time, and environs. My work is informed by the physicality and phenomenology of the dancing body and developed using theatrical practices. Movement and stillness, space and light, texture and dynamics, are essential elements of my pallet. I engage with image making through interlacing metaphor with the demands of the technical/technological. The arte-facts that emerge include films, photographs, installations and choreographies. I work both solo and collaboratively.
Trail no.24 Figurative garden pieces sculpted from clay nestle in the flowerbeds at Raveningham. Harries creates dramatic figures with a Renaissance feel.
Trail no.34 Antonia’s Sculpture Trail pieces are from her Dreaming Hat series. ‘Blue Sky Dreaming’ evokes the feeling of warm summer days. ‘Rainfall Dreaming’ the feel of gentle rivulets of water, which brings life to all living things. She uses a direct carving method to respond to the natural qualities of stone and give life to the characters she creates.
Trail no.10 Working in mild steel Jarrett produces figurative and abstract work based on his response to remote, wild places and landscapes. He aspires to capture a sense of the delight and joy he finds in nature.
Trail no.26 I specialise in working with metal; forged mild steel, stainless steel, steel and copper wires and stainless steel woven wire cloth. I am also interested in combining materials and am now including textiles and wood in some of my sculptures. The majority of my sculptures are inspired by nature, from the shapes, form, colour and growth of plants to atmospheric weather conditions. Taking inspiration from horticulture and sewing techniques I have created a variety of forms ranging from large (2.5m) forged mild steel trees to tiny wire seeds and have collaborated with a glass artist to create ‘Cloud’, a large, immersive installation. Recently I have been experimenting with exploring movement as a source of inspiration and using steel rod and wire as a means of drawing. My work is constantly evolving.
Trail no.32 My work for the Waveney Valley Sculpture Trail – The Woven Woodland is anticipated to place the viewer within the woodland and for them to become part of the piece of work and the environment that surrounds it. It is not always obvious which aspect the viewer is looking at. I am interested in materials and working site sensitive. My work mostly focuses on the notion of ‘liminal space’ (from limen, meaning “threshold”). “Being in the stillness and calm of the woods is a perfect setting for sculpture”.
Trail no.27 Inspired by ‘the woven woodland’, a multi-dimensional weaving installation based on the fragility of our woodlands. Monochrome entwined threads contrast with colours of our landscape.
Trail no.25 ‘Wax and Wane’ – Aluminium, steel, string, nylon and polyester. Sited by the Goat Willow (Sallow) in the kitchen garden, Wax and Wane consists of five aluminium arcs of varying radii, each held in place using tension, whilst carrying a translucent symmetrical form. In Europe the Willow tree has quite sinister connotations, being connected with warding off evil spirits and communicating with the dead, but in Chinese tradition, branches from the Sallow are used in the Lunar New Year to bring prosperity and happiness into the home. The joyful colours of Wax and Wane exaggerate those of the symbiotic lichen on the neighbouring Sallow, with its arcs resembling moon phases, which are thought by some to affect moods and emotions. The benefits of being outside, walking amongst nature, have been well documented for some time, and with an increasing awareness of Mental Health, this work hopes to also enhance the mood of the viewer with its lightness of colour, materials and form.
Trail no.29 ‘Key Moments’ – My work is usually about behaviours or emotions, or both, and my reference to ‘line’ is almost always apparent. I use titles to explain my work in literal and metaphorical ways. How this work is viewed will depend on the weather conditions and those who stand before it. I have no control over that!
Trail no.38 ‘Ascent’ The sculpture represents man clinging to the edifice of time. It is made of a bow shaped limb of yew wood which hopefully will act as the soundbox of a ‘stringed instrument’ that will resonate in the wind.
Trail no.41 I carve by hand in wood and stone, listening to the innate qualities of the raw material and to my memory of living forms. Recently I have found a good source of stone and have concentrated on using Italian Alabaster and Agata Scuro, which has a special luminosity and fragility, and Cornish Steatite, which has a darker depth of shadow. I like an asymmetrical twist with shapes interlocking and setting against each other, so creating a tension that pulls the sculpture into a new balance. The solid density of the material has an inner tension which becomes a source of energy. In conjunction, I love to draw from life, being with animals and birds, watching, listening and trying to gain some understanding, making notes, making drawings that attempt to capture some of their particular dynamism. I may do many drawings but only one or two will really have the essence of what I have observed, the fleeting glimpse of a shift in movement. But still some part of the creature will seep in and what is revealed finds its way into the sculpture.
Trail no.30 By using iconography from today’s popular culture Ruth engenders a juxtaposition between the objects and materials available 2000 years ago and now. The Memory Poles are emblematic of the Iceni tribe (AD 60) from East Anglia, her home. She has used natural pigment ochres, limestone and charcoal to make the glair paint restricting her palette similar to the availability in early Roman times in eastern Britain.
Trail no.36 The major theme in my work is man’s relationship to nature. The Sculptures comprise of spherical forms of varying sizes. Integrated into the forms are bronze and cement casts of individual seeds and seed heads. My practice involves casting, construction, carving and modeling using different cements, white cement fondu and gray cement fondu as well as casting detail aspects in bronze. The final colour of the cement is achieved through the addition of various coloured sands collected from different parts of the country such as red sand from Gloucestershire and ochre from Heacham in East Anglia. Sculptures depict the seed heads of barley, wheat and annual meadow grasses. I see the individual pieces as part of a family whereby an exhibited work would comprise of several different but inter-related works grouped together in conversation. Seed heads contain embryonic new plants and the potential to continue the life cycle of each species. The sculptures, which might be seen as symbols of fertility, invite the viewer to consider evolution, natural selection, and cultivation.
Trail no.35 I especially enjoy the physical act of carving and sculpturing stone. Surface textures affect the material and give it sensual forms, allowing human expression to be unleashed onto it. Often I let the raw materials guide me, choosing to harmonise my design with what’s already there, though sometimes it’s a design idea that leads me to pick the right materials. I have found working with stone intensely enjoyable and deeply engaging, whether that’s representing living creatures or exploring more abstract relationships in symbolic, philosophical form. It is almost a process of meditation, which encourages a more intuitive approach within an understanding of nature itself. Each stone, slate or wood has a beauty of its own. Sometimes the stone suggest a shape, which emerges naturally. With time a relationship forms with the stone and a physical structure. The sculpting process itself is like meditation.
Trail no.22 This glass mosaic is about biodiversity and the intricate woven web of species that need to support each other and how it’s our responsibility to protect what we can to help it to thrive.
Trail no.14 Woven Viewpointing. I have been making things from found and natural materials , scraps of fabric, the twigs and cones lying at my feet, for most of my artistic life. Now it feels like I’m in harmony with the spirit of reuse and recycle, and mindful awareness of what’s in front of your eyes. This year, I am working with a beautiful yew and a beautiful view, on the edge of the woodland. Weaving a frame for being in, and pondering the patterns of nature.
Trail no.6 Turner’s work mainly with wood using scalpels, acrylic paints, tiny hand cut seagulls, ebonised oak, silk, seaglass and anything else that I can lay my hands on.
Trail no.28 Oak Leaf: Constructed from wood and steel, ‘Oak leaf’ has industrial undertones. It focuses our attention upon the relationship, and tensions between the natural and man-made worlds. It celebrates the possibility of harmonious co-existence between these two elements. Swift Ring: The iconic silhouette of swifts in flight is captured in this mild steel sculpture. Undulating lines echo the sweeping, fluid flightpaths of these elegant birds. The central, circular, ring, symbolises their continuous cycle of migration and return. Mounted on a rustic log, this piece is seen at its best when set against a light, bright, open backdrop. Wing: Made from reclaimed materials, evidence of their ‘other life’, gives fundamental character to this piece. This large, wood and steel structure, takes inspiration from a bird’s wing. As we all become increasingly aware of the impact human activity has upon the natural world, the subtle ingenuity and fragility of a wing can remind us both of nature’s wonder, and of the necessity for sensitive co-existence. This piece serves as a metaphor for nature and the environment in the present day. Clinging on at one end, it wraps itself around the trunk of the tree. At the other, it stretches out towards the viewer with its feathery finger, calling and challenging us to reflect.
Trail no.16 Five stained glass panels hung in the trees. Starting with a rectangle, straight lines and one colour, the colours change with the seasons and the shapes become increasingly chaotic. Culminating in the Woven Woodland autumn finale.
Trail no.19 Inspired by Children’s stories of woodland creatures. I have created a series of animal characters using layered screen printing on wood.
Trail no.20 ‘Rainforest Requiem’ is my act of remembrance for the world’s forests being lost to human land clearance. The sculpture is made with wood from sustainably grown Suffolk sweet chestnut. These are offcuts, a by-product of hand cutting thousands of shingles; wooden roof tiles covering a new weaving hut for a Suffolk schools heritage project. Although these are offcuts, they still embody craftsmanship and functionality, but they were once a living tree and as such command our respect. Touching them brings a sense of responsibility. Sadly we turn a blind eye to forest clearance if it means we can have cheap oil for breakfast cereals, bio-fuels or cosmetics. Each shingle stands as a headstone, each one a memorial to a forest lost.