I can't believe how quickly time has flown, and here we are, on the eve of the Taster Exhibition at the Forum for Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios 2014.
My piece for the exhibition this year was inspired by our local pantomime, 'The Green Man'. Having done some research I found the following quote which meshed perfectly with my quest for inspiration.
His name means the Green One or Verdant One, he is the voice of inspiration to the aspirant and committed artist.
He can come as a white light or the gleam on a blade of grass, but more often as an inner mood.
The sign of his presence is the ability to work or experience with tireless enthusiasm beyond one’s normal capacities. In this there may be a link across cultures,… one reason for the enthusiasm of the medieval sculptors for the Green Man may be that he was the source of inspiration.”
My medium is sheeps' fleece, which I needlefelt. This is a labour intensive method of dry felting fleece using a sharp barbed needle which meshes the fibres together without the need for water, soap and friction. By repeatedly stabbing the fleece with the needle it is possible to sculpt in the same way as you would with clay.
He started to emerge slightly spookily from the fleece quite quickly...
In view of the fact he is a 'Green Man' I began to colour him with green fleece, but quickly realised that what he needed to be was bark coloured. I took my inspiration from the cherry trees in my garden, which are grey rather than brown, with green shadows.
The green aspect would be the leaves, which is where dyeing came into the picture...
Each leaf was created individually using the dyed fleece to create the colours and shades...
To add a little texture and light I also created a few leaves with silk velvet which I painted with dye...
...and intermingled these with the wool leaves...
And this is the result...
The 'Green Man', along with other pieces of work from members of The Two Rivers Trail and other artists taking part in Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios will be on exhibition in the Forum, Norwich from Friday 18th April to Wednesday 23rd April 2014. It's well worth a visit, there will be a huge variety of work, something for everyone.
I will be there, wielding my trusty felting needle, on Friday morning. Do come in and say hello!
Eleven diverse artists living and working between the rivers Ant and Bure.