Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Sunday, 12 October 2014
I've decided to use conkers for my Rhod in Roath garden installation. Growing up in Pontcanna, I remember Autumn in Cardiff being the loveliest thing. Walking to the school bus, crunchy leaves drifting over garden walls and filling the streets, the misty hint of rain in the air, and competitive conker collecting in Llandaff fields, stuffing dad’s bike saddle bags with conkers as dusk descended. For a Cowbridge Road girl, Roath was the land of leisure, terrapin, rose gardens and rowing boats, bohemians, ice creams and hanging out. This garden intervention is inspired by Jacob Whittaker’s path of vinyl records last year (entitled Now!18), and is made in celebration of this green city in arguably its most beautiful season.
In my search for conkers I've had a some heart warming encounters. Last saturday I went to Carmarthen park. There was already a couple and their 9 year old son hunting for conkers which were pretty thin on the ground. For a laugh and to get over my embarrassment ( a grown-up conker-ing on my own) i said
"hey, have you had all the conkers? they laughed. I laughed.
Ten minutes later the little boy offered me more than half of his conkers! I did feel a bit bad , and tried to make him keep them, but in the end hid mum in sited that he doesn't need any more conkers at home.
Thank you kind people! Then I saw some more horse chestnut trees further down in the park, rich pickings. I was assisted by an old lady, and then some little polish girls on bikes who told ne they were going to use their conkers to make "a shiny dragon". Searching for conkers brought back all the warm happy feelings I remember conker-ing in Llandaff fields and Ninian Park.
As a previos Rhod exhibitor I've been invited to make work for a garden on Ninian Road as part in Rhod in Roath (Made in Roath festival 2014). This has given me an excuse to indulge in a little nostalgia. Growing up in Pontcanna, I remember Autumn in Cardiff being the loveliest thing. Walking to the school bus, crunchy leaves drifting over garden walls and filling the streets, the misty hint of rain in the air, and competitive conker collecting in Llandaff fields, stuffing dad's bike saddle bags with conkers as dusk descended. For a Cowbridge Road girl, Roath was the land of leisure, terrapins, rose gardens and rowing boats, bohemians, ice creams and hanging out.
Without wanting to go too gooey and nostalgic, I can't quite resist the opportunity which exhibiting in Roath provides; to reconcile memories with their place, attempt to bring fading memories into now by returning them to the place where they first occurred. I am aware this might be a personal indulgence but could also act as a way to celebrate Roath.
Friday, 3 October 2014
The Garden exhibition was conceived and curated by Kate Dunwell and Seren Stacey in 2013 as an opportunity for ourselves and other artists to re-build our confidence and have an opportunity to develop new work for the former Nevern Nurseries site which was itself being lovingly restored. The Garden 2014 was drawn together curatorially by Seren Stacey and Rose Wood with many artists creating new works and installation in response to the site. The artwork sat sensitively within the site, complementing rather than competing with the rambling natural surroundings. More images and info:
From January to March 2014 I took regular walks around Llandysul and Pontweli cataloguing colours and textures to correspond to the well known and beautifully branded paint charts of Farrow & Ball. The idea came about when as I pored over colour charts (of various makes) whilst redecorating, and then took walks to try and stimulate my creativity. The paint charts got stuck in my mind and my eyes seemed sensitised to the range and subtlety of colours all around me. Paint names are already widely known to be amusing, hyperbolic; Steel Symphony, Overtly Olive. I began to play on this, giving my new colours their own names relating to their location, subject or my personal response to them. The chart and a map of my walks are made into a limited edition colour card and a series of large scale prints. Exhibited at Colony 2014 ,Cardigan and The Garden 2014, Nevern.