The first piece that really caught my attention when I walked into the main gallery was Kerry Jameson’s ceramic piece ‘Black Ram’. I was rather taken by the textural and painterly effects she has managed to achieve through Raku firing techniques and incorporating hessian textiles into the clay. This piece had a real presence in the room and seemed to call to me wherever I was standing. Having visited her website since returning home, I have also fallen in love with her fantasticly dynamic ink drawings and paintings.
Another artist whose work I was drawn to was Anthropomorphica (the artist name used by Melanie Ashton). She describes herself as “a wanderling, doll maker, dreamer, collector of bones, picker upper of sticks and hoarder of moss and bark. A lover of ridicularity, a concoction of mismatching parts and a weaver of knots and tangles” and predominately makes art dolls, a phenomenon I’m pretty new to. Whatever you want to call them, her delicate creations seem to have emerged out from underneath moss and stones, and carry a sense of wonderment & resignation, despair & hope, decay & delight – a condition of contradiction I am not entirely unfamiliar with myself.
And as for myself, I just about managed to finish my large new work ‘Tell me Your Secrets’ in time for the delivery date. I say new work, but I have been working on this piece on & off for the past two years, returning to it in between teaching, commission and making other pieces so in some ways this piece feels like old news to me. It feels good to finally have the work out there, get it seen, and receive valuable feedback.
Apart from wool, this piece incorporates hours of hand embroidery, beaten copper, copper wire, and some recycled ceramics.
The exhibition is on until 28th January 2017, with work by Anthropomorphica, Eleanor Bartleman, Christie Brown, Adrian Higgins, Kerry Jameson, Jackie Needham, Zenna Tagney, Yannick Unfricht and Gladys Paulus.