Welcome to my online Journal where i hope to share my thoughts, feeling, inspirations, processes, problem solving, and completed works as well as works in progress.
Having recently moved back to Sussex to look after a friends dogs and country house for a month, i find myself back in my childhood forest, miles of deep woodland dotted with small ponds and lakes....heaven! Home! On my many excursions exploring half remembered paths i often find little objects i collect to use in my work, a small mossy stone, a twisted honeysuckle stem.....or in this case, long lengths of rusty old barbed wire from a forgotten boundary line. I broke off and gathered up as much as i could find, initially thinking of weaving a basket or little nest from it. having bought it home and looked at it for a while i was inspired to make a small tree sculpture from it, i like the idea of using something that was intended to keep nature and bay to make a natural form, something man-made into the illusion of wildlife. I have always loved the art of Bonsia, the patience involved and skill to make a tiny tree appear as a perfect miniature of its full size relatives. Originally inspired by the stunted and twisted trees found perched on windy mountain-tops, clinging on for dear life!
The wire is very malleable, very old rusty steel. The little spikes have half rusted but instead of making them blunter, the outer rust peels away when touched exposing a razor sharp core inside....a total nightmare to weave and sculpt with but i like the challenge. I decided the best way to start was by tying the lengths of cut wire around a log and holding it in place with rope. I then twisted the wire together in twos either end so when the log was removed you were left with the hollow trunk of a tree where the branches and roots could be formed and twisted from the top and bottom. Once a rough tree shape was made i needed a base for it to sit on before i could continue sculpting. I originally thought i would use a mossy iron-stone that you find in these parts, i walked for a few hours looking for the perfect stone but instead stumbled across a large twisted mossy tree stump. It was perfect, very dramatic and sculptural, the moss on it looked like sea grass on a cliff edge.
This is as far as i have got so far with the sculpture. I decided to make it appear to be swept by the wind to give it movement. I even left it out in a storm to be blown and swayed naturally. I have begun experimenting with wiring small branches onto the wire ends of the branches, i have used rusty wire and carefully attached them individually, at a glance it is hard to see where the wire ends and the natural materials start. It is quite a large sculpture and i am mindful of having to fit it in the car to bring to the studio to finish. I think this is the piece i will use for the London show and if i carry on much more it wont fit in the back seat of my car. I will attach more branches and use barbed wire nails to attach it permanently in place on the log. Once this is done i will experiment with positioning and how to display the piece, whether to use a plinth or if i need to make something bespoke for it to stand on.