Our Artists’ Reflections on Landscape
This year’s theme ‘Reflections on Landscape’ has been inspired by over 10 years of art and landscape work Waveney & Blyth Arts has delivered. We asked our artists to consider ideas of scale, perspectives and interaction between wild and cultivated aspects of the landscape. We are living in the context of climate crisis and this, along with broader perspectives on the landscapes we live in and our relationships with it were also suggested ideas to explore.
To see more of each artists’ work, click on their name to be sent to their W&BA profile page.
David Baldry was Froebel educated as a child. He later studied Sculpture at Brighton Polytechnic and the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Apart from a year in Rome, he has spent most of his career working education firstly at Harrow School but mostly as Head of Fine Art at the University of Suffolk. He has worked as an advisor for Arts Council and other government bodies both in the UK and the Czech Republic. Throughout this time he has maintained a broad-based practice as an artist with an interest in Drawing, Sculpture, Video, and Architecture.
“We are blessed with a new and extraordinary site close to the East Suffolk coast with its woodland, heath, marsh and of course sky. Art is at its best when pointing to something we don’t always acknowledge or take for granted. This year artists will have every opportunity to think about, engage with and make sculpture in a very special location.”
Grace creates temporary interventions, often located outside a gallery setting. She works across drawing, painting, sculpture and installation, and is particularly interested in our environments; how we build, negotiate and use them. Grace’s work references the objects we buy, the ways we understand landscapes, the everyday; notions of what can be beautiful and where.
Grace connects us to the immediate environment, and through sightlines to a wider place, enriched with contextual information. Each henge (there are 3 on the site) invites the viewer in, then their gaze and thoughts are taken out across the landscape and out to sea. (London)-
Since founding Nutmeg Puppet Company in 1979, Meg’s aim is to re-engage people with the natural world. She has worked in Suffolk and Norfolk for over 40 years, making puppet shows inspired by the ecology, plants, animals, social history and folk tales of the area.
Meg has placed some untidy wild rose spirits in the formal setting of the gardens; reminding us of the origins of the horticultural specimens on show, and what they would like to return to, if not tamed and clipped into shape. (Suffolk)
Claire is a multidisciplinary visual artist also known as ‘eyeseethingsdifferently’. She is hugely inspired by nature, and since relocating to Norfolk from Essex, can often be found wandering around the Norfolk coastline and Broads. Claire’s research revolves around assessing our impact on the environment and how the environment affects our mental health.
Claire’s clay waves, suitable for display both outdoors and inside, symbolise the effects of rising sea levels caused by climate change. Their decoration is inspired by the causes of rising sea level – thermal expansion, melting glaciers and failing ice sheets. (Norfolk)
The Bitterest Pill
Nick developed his artistic practice as a mature student over the past 20 years. He has exhibited his work across the region.
This piece is a metaphor on the state of our society and a critique of the actions of selfish people who are not taken to task for their actions. Nick has collected roadside rubbish from a five-mile radius to create a large capsule pill, containing cans and plastic bottles. (Norfolk)
Treasure Trove : precious places
Norfolk-based artist Kay takes inspiration from working ‘en plein air’ in her practice, particularly in response to the natural environment, as well as architectural structures.
Kay takes inspiration from the sea, land and sky, finding them beautiful but also complex and dangerous. Engaging with the beauty and the relationship between fear and tranquillity has helped her deal with recent surgery to remove a brain tumour. (Norfolk)
James runs Acorn Forge, a small metalwork business based in the heart of rural Suffolk. Over the years James has produced a wide range of items, in particular quality wood burning stoves, firebowls and chimineas, as well as a range of sculptures mainly made from recycled materials.
The stainless steel wings reflect the colours from the wildflower meadow, also capturing the iridescence of a butterfly. The body is recycled cutlery. The stainless steel wire dandelion seed captures the delicacy and movement of the subject. (Suffolk)
London-based artist Barbara trained as a sculptor in Germany in the 1990s. Since then, she has exhibited her sculpture, drawing an printmaking work internationally.
A common token of our best intentions is a young tree strapped with rubber bands between wooden poles. Barbara has responded with a group of ceramic cylinders, still soft and offering no resistance to the pulling force. So instead of stabilising, they deform. (London)
Tom reconnected with his lifelong interest in Sculpture some years ago. He works from Studios in London and near Blythburgh, Suffolk. His pieces, usually displaying strong mark-making, are executed in clay and are generally figurative.
Tom has placed two life-size heads looking over the Suffolk landscape. Both are of Barrie Novell, a wonderful model and charming character who died between sittings. One head is gazing wistfully; the other looks up to the heavens – appropriate under the circumstances. (London and Suffolk)
After the Flood
Ruth’s work responds to her relationship with the environment, typically through the medium of papier mache.
‘After the flood’ uses papier mache, mud, silt, sand and pigments. The multiple layers can be read as patterns in sediment or as geographical contours. Ruth is interested in change: reversible and irreversible, natural and not, cyclical and cataclysmic. (Norfolk)
SoundHide Cinema: Night Heath
Mike is a sound artist, maker and educator. He utilises technology to enable sound composition in a variety of situations, often installation based and inspired by nature.
A Westleton Heath sunset featuring nightingales and nightjars, made especially for the Sculpture trail. The Heath lies just south of Potton Hall. A video loop of 10 mins (for the full sunset visit www.mikechallis.com)
A Siege of Herons
Elizabeth is a Suffolk-based artist, creating sculptures with welded steel and adornments. Her 2D work often combines mixed-media approaches.
Siege, the collective noun for herons, seems appropriate as nature itself is under siege. Elizabeth’s herons are made of new and recycled steel; the nests are discarded debris. Chicks symbolise the hope of new life growing from the decay of the old. (Bury St. Edmunds)
‘A Thousand Tides’ (No 2)
This life size bronze figure has travelled far, returning to Suffolk just as its twin starts its final descent into the mudflats at Butley Creek, where it has lain since 2016.
The figure started its life in Laurence Edwards’ studio in Saxmundham, where over one winter and spring it was modelled prone. Not used to horizontal modelling, having only sculpted standing figures up to this point, Edwards was shocked at the empathy he felt with this clay man, which strained to peer down the length of its body catching the sculptors eye as he worked on its feet, or correcting a chest detail.
This relationship evolved into the summer when, on arriving and uncovering the clay in the mornings, Edwards would involuntarily reach to touch its hand, as if to take a pulse. The figure became a patient more than a sculpture.
Timely too, that this figure looks to be waking, out of some kind of coma, having been dormant for a time, echoes perhaps of what we’ve all been going through these past months.
In searching for peace and contentment in his life, Patrick came across Vipassana Meditation in 1989. Over the years of practising this profound technique it became apparent that a great beneficial change had come about, not only in his daily life but also in his sculpture. In integrating the technique into his life, it was to become the basis for all his work by freeing up the mind allows a natural flow of creativity to occur.
Vipassana meditation has become the basis for all Patrick’s work, its practice freeing up his mind to allow ‘a natural flow of creativity’. This work is in scrap, steel, glass, lead and local oak. ‘Reflecting nature…you shall not pass’. (Suffolk)
Created for the First Light Festival, Lowestoft in 2019, when it was filled with straw and set alight, this giant iron sculpture was inspired by a flint found beneath Pakefield Cliffs, evidence of the earliest humans in Britain. (Suffolk)
Emily’s practice explores several avenues including themes around value, heritage, myth and narrative within the context of the object. Her work is often site-specific and uses fragments of memory and ambiguous forms.
Emily, who has recently achieved a Fine Art MA, explores culture, society and domestic objects through her sculptural practice and is interested in the dialogue between the historic and the contemporary. This piece suggests a tree broken in two, distorted reflections giving alternative interpretations of the landscape. (Norwich).
Caroline is a conceptual artist and poet, particularly drawn site-specific artwork embodied within landscape.
These terracotta bricks are evidence of coastal erosion. Once the walls of homes they have been rounded and reshaped by time and tide. Positioned now as a clock face of non-specific hours reminiscent of a garden sundial as shadows fall. (Suffolk)
‘I spend much of my life working outside in a rural environment. In recent years I have focused on an area around the Waveney Valley and especially the five acres in which I work and care for.
Interestingly, this restriction has increased my awareness of the animals and plants that share the area … time has slowed down in a sense and the minute changes take on more significance … I am able to observe more of the web that binds it all together.
I will be exhibiting a stone sculpture made from Ancaster limestone. This stone is made from millions of tiny crustaceans that died millions of years ago.When I think of this and feel the stone being worked I realise how brief our lives are and how this colours our perception … other organisms live very different lives.
To observe and witness is the first step to understanding.’
Pamela is an artist, researcher and educator. Trained in dance.
Her practice is informed by phenomenology, the lived body. Installation and theatrical sets/settings, costume, choreography, film, and photography are the end artefacts of her approaches.
Pamela is a dance researcher and artist, interested in phenomenology and the body. The satin tent, painted to resemble glacial ice, is repurposed from a theatre piece about the first all-women expedition to Annapurna. It is a cairn, a destination – and a refuge. (Suffolk)
Rob made inflatable props and scenery for pop concerts over the last 40 years before retiring. Now he enjoys making figurative work in clay fired to stoneware, suitable for garden display.
Rob now makes chiefly stoneware pieces. These figures are in Woods metal, based on wax originals. ‘The pose represents a flying figure pulling out of a dangerous downward descent. An image of hope for the environment.’ (Suffolk)
Multidisciplinary visual artist, curator and facilitator Jane celebrates the changing character of nature and climate in her work. She explores growth, change of colours, textures, light and the wildlife in the natural environment to inspire her practice.
Drawing freely and spontaneously with steel, Jane explores the formation and shape of the cloud, with a nod to the digital age and concepts of ‘The Cloud’. The stainless steel gleams and shimmers, making the work subtle and illusive until it catches the light. (Lincolnshire)
Spadge is creating on a full-time basis, informed by experience gained during a creative career that involved leadership, product design, the music industry and automotive engineering. Currently he tends to work in 3D using metal.
Referencing nearby RSPB Minsmere, Spadge has created two cormorants from laser-cut steel with randomly reflective surface. When naturally back-lit, the voids in the sculpture create another version of the same bird. (Suffolk)
Mel is a dance artist and life member of the Royal Academy of Dancing. Mel was going to deliver an expressive accessible dance workshop inspired by the sculptural works at Sculpture in the Valley 2020.
Dancing after Lockdown
A chance to dance after Lockdown.
Suitable for anyone over 14 regardless of dance experience, Mel Horwood will guide you through a simple series of movements to encourage you to view and respond to the site through your body.
We can enjoy the stimulus of the Potton Hall gardens and art works after visitors have left and without anyone else on the site.
The price includes entry to the Sculpture Trail and you can come along at any time from 10am – 5pm on the day.
14 June, 6.30 – 8.30pm
Being somewhat of a rare breed of artists, a founder sculptor, Hudson’s practice is open to endless possibilities unlike few others. Having been through the whole casting process from birth to realisation, allows for a more intimate and creative aspect to his work. Hudson’s sculptures, concerned with the split between people’s interior emotional, psychological and bodily being and their exterior presentation.
Craig is a founder sculptor, employing casts and moulds to create lifelike pieces concerned with the split between people’s emotional and psychological being and their exterior presentation. This works, he says ‘is of the best mate I ever had. My dog.’ (Suffolk)
Up to the Sky
Susie’s work explores the relationships between colours, and form and space. She works in multidisciplinary approaches including painting in acrylic or watercolour, printmaking and sculpture.
In this installation she responds to the trees in the rolling Suffolk landscape and huge skies by using metal and other found materials. (Suffolk)
Louise describes herself as an innovative fine artist. She often works with photography and creates work inspired by landscape and cityscapes. She is currently an MA Fine Art student.
From wanderings in landscape and liminal spaces in cityscapes, Louise draws upon narratives and natural history to convey a sense of place. Her work also explores the value of using traditional lime as a casting material. Unable to make her sculptural pieces during the lockdowns she has finally completed her visions for this exhibition. (Norwich)
Working largely through self-exploration, Andy’s work is predominantly, although loosely, figurative. Not constrained by major commercial ambitions, his inspirations have led me to work in a range of styles but most commonly in ceramics, such as stoneware pieces suitable for garden settings.
Andy’s work, a modernist view of flowers and stems, reflects growth and variation in the nearby plants and wider plant kingdom. Supported on metal rods, individually-made glazed ceramic pieces have colours reflecting the palette around them. (Norfolk)
Jenny creates dyed and painted textiles, designing and making one-off scarves from silk, linen and velvet. She is increasingly engaged with, and influenced by, the Suffolk coastal landscape. In response, she explores the use of mineral and plant dyes and to reference the natural environment in her work, while always being conscious of the need to re-use and recycle.
Jenny’s textiles use natural dyes and reclaimed materials to convey a concern with environmental issues as well as celebrating the colours of the landscape, water and sky. She is interested in how the elements – sun, rain, wind – will affect the work. (Suffolk)
Bird Alphabet 3
Jim initially studied bronze casting at the RCA in London on the foundry route under Richard Rome, he taught bronze as a visiting tutor at Cardiff school of art and demonstrated mould making at Wimbledon. For many years he tutored at the Hong Kong bronze studio and is now working at Butley Mills Studios, Suffolk.
Jim has been working on the Bird Alphabet theme since 2017, now evolved into a body of poetic and abstract work in a variety of media. It takes a bird’s perspective, lifting the eye and piercing the sky, totem pole-like, intriguing and exultant. (Butley Mills)
Sara’s practice is defined as conceptual and research-based and consists of several strands.
She combines serious issues with humour and playfulness materials are transformed into simple, quirky, often multi-sensory sculptures and installations. Some works are used as site-specific interventions, ranging from subtle experiences to the more extreme intrusion of public spaces.
Sara’s idea: Coming Soon
“After 17 years they are arriving in Kentucky in May. Now they’re coming to Potton Hall in June to mate!“
Dide is an award-winning multi-disciplinary artist, writer and composer/musician/singer. She currently divides her time between her own creative projects and translating for a company.
Dide’s tiny bronze sculptures explore the relationship between worth and preservation. By casting items of discarded rubbish in bronze she challenges our approach to disposable items and engages in a discussion about what we value. (Suffolk)
Sinking or Rising
Suffolk-based artist Meryem is fascinated by movement and the more intangible aspects of being. Much of her early career was spent as a humanist activist and the freedom that sought informed her arts practice. Her work relates to life experiences, memories, and emotions, through the medium of natural textural substrates.
Meryem’s semi-abstract work is in response to the impact that abrupt climate breakdown is causing through extreme patterns of weather. Her work relates to life experiences, memories and her emotional responses, through the medium of natural textural substrates. (Suffolk)
Mosaic tree rings
Fern, also known as SilverLore, is a mosaic artist who creates bold and dynamic art for the home and garden.
Tree Rings provide snapshots of the earth’s past climates. Fern is curious to see the impact on future trees from this pandemic. Will it show cleaner air, less pollutants, or maybe even our collective appreciation of nature during this difficult time? (Suffolk)
Bee has a background in art therapy and creates environmental and site-specific artwork.
Bee’s work often refers to vessels. Here, the ubiquitous and ancient form of the coracle is an “ark” containing the spirit of that which is fragile or delicate, but needing our attention. “In these years of such transformation, the planet as an integrated whole seemed the right form.” (Norfolk)
Born in St Ives, Cornwall in 1940, shortly after the outbreak of World War II, Telfer was brought up within the wartime artistic community of St Ives. After moving to New York in 1962, his practice explored colour, surface, form and scale in painting. In the 1970s, Telfer moved further towards conceptual art in the medium of books. Eventually, the need to physically make work later manifested itself in the form of sculpture.
Telfer makes sculptural objects from welded steel collected from scrapyards. These collections form the beginning of a process of transformation working with metal on the wall – which can be placed somewhere between painting and sculpture. In this instance he has reacted to the environment in a unique way. (Lowestoft)
Ship of Fools, 2021
Laura’s sculptural works take on both a light-hearted and metaphorical view of nature and culture. Beneath the veil of humour her work juxtaposes objects, situations, materials and ideas.
Toying with forms that intrigue and engage, Laura’s works are a pleasure to observe, yet carry conceptual layers of meaning for the viewer. Motivated to communicate ideas about society, and injustice in the world, this up-and-coming artist has been shortlisted for the 2021 National Sculpture Prize. (Southwold)
“All animals are equal ….”
Having spent lot of her time in the rural environment, observing domesticated and non-domesticated animals has informed Bobbie’s sculptural practice. Whilst she has no formal training, she has attended many ceramic courses and has sold and exhibited her work widely.
This is a playful interpretation of the well-known phrase from George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Living on a Norfolk farm and keeping outdoor pigs Bobbie recognises the pigs’ intelligence. Made from mild steel and stoneware ceramic. (Norfolk)
Suffolk-based artist Mary Ann has created work about landscape for many years, much of it photographic.
Mary Anne explores critically how our perception of landscape is shaped by human activity and cultural practice. This work reflects both the strength and the fragility of the landscape; it makes a gentle intervention that is nevertheless strong enough to engage our attention. (Suffolk)
Tree of Life
Cindy Lee Wright’s new work is in steel, and her subject matter is the natural world, in particular animals we are privileged the world share it with. Cindy hopes to bring the wild world closer, to celebrate astonishing beauty, abundance and biodiversity, and also to remind people of our responsibility for it.
As humans we tend to believe that land belongs to us to do with what we will. Cindy has created the Potton Tree of Life to celebrate the other animals that share ownership of this beautiful site. (Norfolk)