For the final semester at University this year, we have been putting a strong focus on contextualizing our work and establishing a methodology that applies to our practice.
During this personal exploration of my work, I have found myself more interested in the physical processes that I use and the overall approach that I take to my work is what I feel to be the most important aspect in my designs.
I tend to identify more easily with land artists because of this, as they typically have a very free and exploratory way of working. One of the artists who I have always admired for this is David Nash.
Nash works only with wood that is made available naturally, through circumstances such as storms, lightning strikes or diseases and his work is about helping people to understand their place in the natural world.
I think his work demonstrates a very respectful relationship with the materials and I like how the original material or shape is still visible in his designs. He works in a way that responds to each individual piece of wood, which I love.
I think that the selection of my materials is also very key to my methodology. All the pieces of bark I have collected so far, have been naturally peeling from the branches. Peeling bark is a common occurrence in both Scotch Pine trees and Sycamore trees; two common woods found in the New Forest, which is where my bark has come from.
I also feel as though I want to re-create the most honest representation of these materials in my work as possible, which is why I work with the casting process. It allows me to pick up on the finest details of the tree’s bark.
I do feel as though we have a natural inexplicable connection to the forest, and I want to try and collate my personal thoughts and feelings about these spaces into unique responses, formed organically from the individual pieces that I have collected from the environment.
I think that listening to the materials themselves is really important. I was most pleased with my last experiment, because I allowed the individual cast pieces to guide me towards a final form. Reacting to the shapes as I assemble each piece feels almost as if the tree is re-growing on it’s own.
Although looking into the work of David Nash has helped me to pinpoint the important values of my own practice, I do still have a lot of aspects that need to be refined more, and I have a long way to go in establishing a methodology that I am content with.