My site-specific sculptures around the pond at Gellan were conceived during the many peaceful hours I’ve spent here, often when preparing Heron Lodge for guests. Whilst all different in form and narrative the sculptures are linked by the theme of reflection, expressed at both a literal and symbolic level. They also relate to events that were unfolding in my personal life over the time of their creation. My aim was to enhance the experience of visitors staying at the lodge.
In summer the pond is humming with dragonflies so I wanted to celebrate their beauty. I made the sculpture to the scale of the largest known insect to have inhabited the earth 300 million years ago, Maganeuropsis Permiana or giant dragonfly to add a thought provoking context.
This work replicates to scale the first fish to crawl onto land approximately 375 million years ago and from which all vertebrates, including ourselves, evolved. I wanted to use the pond to reference our muddy primordial origins in a fun, light-hearted way.
This wind chime compliments “Walking Fish". The letters make up an equation, created by astronomer Frank Drake, aiming to determine the likelihood of extra-terrestrial life. I wanted to juxtapose allusion to our origins with the notion that other life may exist out in the universe. The night sky here is beautifully clear and I thought it’d invite visitors to wonder what or who might be up there.
N = R* × fP × ne × fl × fi × fc × L
N = number of civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy that are capable of producing signals that we can detect on Earth
R* = the rate at which stars capable of supporting life form in our Galaxy
fP = the fraction of those stars that have a planet or planets
ne = the average number of planets per planetary system that have an environment that can support life
fl = the fraction of those planets that can support life on which life actually develops
fi = the fraction of those planets with life where intelligent life develops
fc = the fraction of those intelligent civilizations that develop technology for communication
L = the average lifetime of those civilizations that develop technology for communication
narcissus and anteros
aluminium wire drawing
The seated figure is Narcissus, a god in Greek mythology who represents self-obsession. He fell in love with his reflection whilst gazing into a pond, staring at it for the rest of his life. The standing figure is Anteros, a Greek god representing requited love. I’ve placed these two gods together to contrast these aspects of our relationship with ourselves and with others and to hold up a mirror to our struggle in finding the right balance between self-care, selfishness, and selflessness.
bird's eye view
I see the red kite flying over Gellan daily and love hearing its piercing call. Since this beautiful bird is renowned for its extraordinary eyesight, I’ve used it as a symbol for clarity of vision and truth. I came across a fire observation tower whilst walking up the hill opposite the lodge and referenced its form using an old ladder and chair I found in the shed when we moved here. The red kite was hunted to near extinction in the UK but is now protected and numbers have recovered so this work also celebrates its continued presence amongst us.
out on a limb
This represents a period when I was going through a very challenging personal situation. I had just started a new yoga class to help me manage my stress and creating this portrait of myself in warrior pose seemed a good way to convey my efforts to find inner strength, focus and balance at a time I was feeling overwhelmed with grief, hurt, anger and frustration.