My solo exhibition, Beyond the Blue, extended the tradition of drawing upon the plant world as an inspirational design source within ceramics and the decorative arts by focussing on willow pattern, an image embedded in English cultural history to reveal willow within a context it had never been seen before.
The project exploited new opportunities for collaboration within the arts and sciences and drew upon herbarium samples from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. In collaboration with the Spode China Company, I produced a unique collection of 100 printed plates to explore cultural and botanical characteristics of the willow plant. Microscopic details of willow patterns taken from their original 18th century copperplate engravings were enlarged and used to develop the initial group of designs. Further prints explored botanical characteristics of willow in ever increasing levels of magnification; images of leaf structure, cellular wood sections and pollen grains, photographed on light and scanning electron microscopes, were all used to develop designs.
The different groups of plates were arranged on floating platforms across the gallery, echoing the topographic arrangement of the original willow pattern designs. Lengths of silk, digitally printed with stained longitudinal sections of willow from the dendrological collection at Kew hung down over the floating islands. The work sought to extend the potential for plant derived designs within the context of industrial production.
|Type of Research:||Show/Exhibition|
|Additional Information (Publicly available):|
Representation of nature within contemporary culture. Arts and craft movement, modernism, post modernism. Ceramic Art & Design. Electron microscopy, ceramics, NESTA, Kew Gardens, Pollen, Seeds
My practice inhabits a territory where Design, Fine Art and Applied Art overlap and explores the interrelationship between the Arts and Sciences, in particular the natural world, for which I was recently awarded a three year fellowship from NESTA to work with microscopic plant material in the herbarium at Kew. This has resulted in a diverse range of projects: installations, public art and landscaping commissions, works in ceramic, glass and textiles, and digital photography. I recently published two major books in collaboration with botanical scientists at Kew, Pollen The Hidden Sexuality of Flowers and Seeds, Time Capsules of Life, which in which original micrographs were digitally remastered in colour to reveal mesmeric structures that lie somewhere between science and symbolism. Current projects include Hortus in Vitro,an architectural glass commission for the Botanic Garden in Oxford University, a design collaboration with Royal Crown Derby China and a third book in collaboration with Kew on Fruit. In 2006 I was elected as a Fellow of the Linnaean Society for my work in the field of visualising plant science. Additionally I am a board member of the Atoms to Art research network in Ceramic & Glass, and also a member of AIR the Artists Advisory Group for a-n magazine.
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Colleges > Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design|
|Date:||12 April 2003|
|Event Location:||Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent|
|Deposited By:||INVALID USER|
|Deposited On:||07 Dec 2009 12:40|
|Last Modified:||26 Sep 2011 13:46|