As a design and build practice, sculpture is made for the purpose of material exploration, creative expression, concept development and fun!
My sculptural work is on the theme of Norfolk folklore, and the feelings created by these stories. This journey began by exploring the relationship between landscape and folklore. I believe folklore stories are inspired by their local landscapes, and landscapes suit the stories that are told within them.
In my exploration of this relationship I looked for certain feelings that are created by the local folklore tales, in order to put these feelings back into the landscape as physical objects.
Many folklore tales become lost in time, but if physical objects are put into the landscape from these stories, then maybe the story continues in a new form.
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. Maybe 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 but around 2m tall with a width equivalent to a human’s shoulders (if they were that size). These are intended to make the viewer initially think someone is there - watching, but then will realise it is just a woven object. This is not intended to scare or shock, but 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. Most regularly willow, hazel, reeds and grasses have been used. 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.
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