Friday, 22 May 2015

Land of Plenty

I have now begun exporting methods I’ve developed at Stave Hill for working outdoors not only around the country (see Darlington and Coombe Trenchard projects) but also internationally.

materials store

I’ve recently returned from a trip to Ghent where I went to meet a community group involved in Made by Oya, a project run the arts organisation Rocsa. For three weeks in June I’ll be working with this group using natural plant materials grown in a local brown-field site where the participants also tend allotments. We’ll be combining hedgerow basketry with textile weaving and stitch to create a sculptural intervention in situ.

more materials

potential site for installation

Through working with the group I’m interested in finding out how to produce work with the utmost economy, using only materials we harvest as well as some of the yarn we already have in the atelier. Some of the members of the group, mostly women, are experienced needle-crafter and also have experience of basketry weaving, so I’m really looking forward to the many opportunities for exchanging skills and tips while working together.

other work Made by Oya

As most of the participants do not speak English and only have the rudiments of Flemish, this exchange will be a case of showing rather than telling. Making will be the only means of communication and through this, all going well, the unexpected will be materialised. I can’t wait…

Sunday, 3 May 2015

farming bindweed

I’ll have to take back what I said about taking it easy in the last post. Bindweed shoots are sprouting all over the place at Stave Hill and I’ve placed stakes on the compost heaps and made a number of wigwam plant supports with willow to farm the invasive weed.

Once the weed has wrapped itself around the wigwams, the plan is to then cut the plant back and use the stems for weaving. Inspiration came from this previous post.

Another idea is to place an open woven structure such a lobster pot, garden cloche or maybe a twined construction such as these illustrated here and here, and have the bindweed weave itself around the stakes. All I then need to do is cut the bindweed and... hey presto, a sculpture's made! Best go rest now... All this planning and work is truly exhausting!