23 March - 6 April
Curated by Amanda Lynch in association with Correspondence Collective and Clayhill Arts
Initially drawn with explosive mark-making techniques on large sheets of paper, the cutting and folding process creates unexpected compositions, glimpses of textured surfaces that draw you in. As the piece grows it becomes a sculptural entity with endless possibilities for display.
Application was open to all artists based in the UK and internationally. Work by emerging artists and by d/Deaf and disabled artists was particularly encouraged.
My narrative focuses on conservation, nature and connections. I remember a time when insects plastered the car windscreen at night, when sparrows were plentiful and wild flowers were 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. Glimpsed within the folds, pockets of isolation, restricted by human activities, even wasps will decline if we don’t change.
In 2014 I took a course at RSPB Dungeness with Nikki Gammans - an Introduction to BumbleBees. Nikki is a pioneer conservationist working to improve the habitat for Bees primarily based on the Kent coast where the majority of our 24 BumbleBee species can be found and where the Short Haired BumbleBee was last sighted. As well as learning about the sometimes complex ways to differentiate the bees, she was keen to help us understand why the bees are disappearing and how we can help.
The thing that stuck most in my mind was "nature corridors".
Where a species becomes specialised in a given area, there is a huge risk of a single catastrophic event. But more than that, it has been found that males become sterile by interbreeding, a circular problem with only one end.
The fluffy BumbleBee has become a poster girl for the conservation campaigns but it's only recently that other insects are getting their 15 seconds of fame. What about the wasps?
Conservation is a complex subject. The botanist's friend may be the ornithogist's foe. But one thing they all agree on is that we need to look closer at how humans interact with the planet - we are all interconnected.
Graphite is such a tactile material which needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. There are subtle nuances of colour and texture. The surface can be burnished to an almost mirror shine or applied gently as silk, a soft smoky sheen. Hidden marks create layers, a history, and trick the eye with connections to real objects, ancient landscapes or city skylines.
My work focuses on nature drawings and exploring the properties of graphite, with an interest in gently educating people to look closer.
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