It is impossible to draw from nature without becoming entwined in its world; the very act of looking closely makes me wonder at their structure and purpose.
I remember a time when insects plastered the car windscreen at night, when sparrows were plentiful and wild flowers freely picked; my children have never experienced this. The fluffy bumblebee became a poster girl for saving the planet but we need to teach people to love all the creatures, even those that sting or bite and appear to have no useful purpose.
I was introduced to the concept of Nature Corridors in 2017 by Nikki Gammans through her Bumblebee Identification course. A pioneer conservationist working to improve the habitat for Bees, Nikki is mainly based on the Kent coast, the last known UK habitat of Bombus subterraneus and where most of our 24 BumbleBee species can be found. As well as learning about the sometimes complex ways to differentiate the bees, she was keen to help us understand why insects are disappearing and how we can help.
Where a species becomes isolated in a given area, there is a huge risk of a single catastrophic event such as flooding or fire. A small change in the annual weather patterns can mean insects fail to emerge at the same time as their food or nesting source and inbreeding results from habitat fragmentation leading to sterility and mutation, a circular problem with only one end.
Conservation is a complex subject. The botanist's friend may be the ornithologist's foe, but they all agree that we need to look closer at how humans interact with our environment. The wildlife charities are working together to focus on the creation of biodiversity networks, stepping stones, to facilitate connectivity.
Hidden marks create layers, a history, and trick the eye with connections to real objects, ancient landscapes or city skylines, despite the two dimensional plane. As my work has evolved through the "FlightPath" series I am currently exploring the effects of scale and composition.
Compact concertina sculptures have focused my attention on the barriers to nature as I catch glimpses of insects between the folds and struggle to find empty space to draw a wasp within the random marks. As these pieces grow they take on a life of their own, forming sinuous, volcanic mounds until restricted and concealed.
This solo show, in the beautiful white cube space run by Sevenoaks Visual Arts Forum will represent a range of work from the FlightPath story alongside the new Glimpse sculptures. Residency at the Kaleidoscope Gallery during the Show will give me the opportunity to explore the immersive quality of larger pieces, whether through single drawings or a combined Community Project open to visitors.
The Gallery is open Monday to Saturday 10am - 4pm
I will be in Residence to talk about my work and the community project from 10am to 3pm on the following days:
Thursday 17 June
Saturday 19 June
Tuesday 22 June
Saturday 26 June
Monday 28 June
Wednesday 30 June
Friday 2 July
With regret the scheduled informal talk for Sevenoaks Visual Arts Forum on Wednesday 30 June 6-8pm has been cancelled due to ongoing Covid restrictions.
These dates are provisional - PLEASE CHECK BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
or to make an alternative appointment - 07708 148413
Thank you Benedict Bannister for this recording of the exhibition:
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