The Greenhouse Project
5th-21st June, 10-5pm, closed Mondays
Beals Barn, Bewl Bridge Rd, nr Lamberhurst, East Sussex, TN5 6HJ
When we were offered the greenhouse to work from and show in as part of S.E.O.S I was excited by the idea of such a novel exhibition venue and wanted to make pieces that would reflect something about this special space.
I had used acetate in some of my works and thought that it would be an interesting medium to make images about a glasshouse, a material which, in its transparency and with its reflective qualities, was akin to glass.
Hung on an interior wall which is not directly opposite a window they appear to be flat, matt and glowing but in the greenhouse surrounded by light they physically reflect the environment they are placed in, with girders mirrored and hovering among the shapes that I have created in the pictures.
The first time I visited the sight was on a frosty February afternoon. One side of this large double nursery greenhouse was filled with a jumble of the accoutrements of growing, willow obelisks, metal vases, plastic trays and various tools. On the other side hundreds of pots had been laid out in ordered rows, full of earth but showing no signs of life.
The only plants were dried and dusty allium heads, seed pods and twigs left over from Christmas displays. There was no colour apart from the brilliant blue sky seen through the glass roof .
The circular pots, the blue sky, the conflicting lines and angles created by window frames and girders as well as the way vision at eye level is obscured through the parallel layers of glass, polythene and meshes of netting became the motifs for the series of works made for this show.
As the year progressed into Spring colour began to appear, first in the growing shoots and then riotously in the form of geraniums, cinerarias, petunias that, placed as they are in blocks on the greenhouse tables, make no concession to harmony or naturalism and thus present themselves very differently from in their eventual garden destinations.
This is something I have tried to consider in these pictures.
Working with acetate presents particular difficulties but I like the spontaneity it affords, the chance discoveries and the wonderful glowing colours that are created by the overlapping layers.
I hope you enjoy the show.