I’m recently back from a visit at Coombe Trenchard where I'v been preparing for an exhibition curated by sculptor Julian Wild and George Marsh, director of the William Benington gallery. It was a glorious weekend with bright sunshine and blue skies, perfect weather for experiencing the stunning gardens and woodlands on the estate where a number of outdoor site responsive sculptures will be installed from early May through to the end of June.
While at Coombe Trenchard I walked around the grounds equipped with a pair of secateurs, collecting materials I thought I might work with and identifying places where the sculptures might be installed. My plan is to make the work on site using material that grows there.
I was hoping to find willow and thought the stream running through the woodland with its various ponds might be perfect locations to install sculptures made from this water loving tree. Seeing how much brambles there were on site however changed my mind. I tested weaving with them and created the pieces illustrated here. With nature all around and about springing back to life in the warm March sunshine, the planned spiralling bramble constructions rising from the water seemed a very fitting image indeed.
Where did the inspiration for this come from? Many things: recent projects, Dailymades, an outdoor piece installed at Stave Hill (see Brancusi baskets), the site at Coombe Trenchard and in this case, the weather and imminent change of season. Fingers crossed the weather holds while I’m there making the sculptures for the show!