Sunday, 22 January 2012

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Being invited to exhibit my jewellery at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park was quite surreal. It is one of my favourite places to visit- contemplative and inspiring, as well as the place I studied to be a teacher. Happy associations with previous visits there with friends, as well as trips with my students, to stand in awe of work by sculptors and makers who have helped to shape my creativity and passions. The physicality of sculpture has always moved me to make things, I love the solidity and tangibility of structure and form, the way it inhabits space beyond the maker and takes on a presence of its own.

All of the pieces are made individually, by hand; cutting, filing, hammering, refining, finishing every edge, join, and surface, taking care to pay attention to every detail. It is a slow, time consuming process, and by it's very nature, the small scale demands engagement and focus. 

I enjoy the feel of working with metal, the way it softens with heat, becomes more malleable and holds it's shape beautifully, exactly as I wish, but demanding such care and control- the slightest neglect and it melts and is ruined. The relationship I have with my work is therefore quite intense. I love the transition from a transient thought, an idea in my mind, to something I can touch. It fascinates me to think that something I have made with my hands, can be passed on and held, owned, appreciated by someone else. I am captivated by this abstract connection, and it drives my own passion for all things hand-made.

So my visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, to see my own work alongside makers whose work I love, was really quite emotional. Driving into the grounds, past incredible, monumental pieces, made me feel very small and humble. My heart racing, so nervous and excited, bizarre to think that a little box of jewellery that I painstakingly packed and posted, from the comfort and familiarity of my own work bench, had found it's way here and was laid out for all to see. 

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