Trace, 2018 Materiality: Provisional States Hestercombe Gallery
Enamelled cut steel
Working from extensive site research, Trace is a study of Hestercombe’s tree stumps as sculptural enamelled elements. The work highlights variety within nature’s forms, absence, successive generations of intervention and design that shaped the gardens at Hestercombe, while referencing a 1997 ‘Dendroarchaeological Survey’ in its archive. A ‘hidden’ but key document in Hestercombe’s restoration.
The project is in sympathy with an earlier body of work within the landscape, Bound. In Bound I worked with dead, solitary trees, tightly wrapping them in cloth. The work drew attention to location, to the trees (and our own) presence and role in the environment. The stark singularity of those trees was highlighted through colour which revealed their form and beauty. In Trace, I continue an interest with absence of individual and singular trees, examining and recording the traces of severed tree trunks. The highly reflective surface of the sculptural elements allows light to become part of the work. From certain angles, some seem mirror like and colour appears to be almost absent, suggesting a void.
The work draws together interests in trees and ecology, materials, in craft, industry and site. There is translation and transformation. Attention is drawn to an overlooked element within a wooded environment, that of dead and dying trees, whether they be standing snags, or fallen or cut wood lying on the ground or in water
It was important to fabricate this work at a local enamelling plant just one of 3 left in the UK.