Every year for the last twenty years I’ve taken part in the Artworks exhibition at Blackthorpe Barn. We’re not holding an exhibition this year but I can’t help thinking about all the work, all the excitement, all the anxiety, all the camaraderie, all the splendid art, all our wonderful visitors – and all not happening… so very strange.
To begin, I’d like to welcome the guest artists who were selected for 2020 but will now be exhibiting with us in 2021.
Firstly, two artists, both of whom have exhibited with us for the past few years but now join on a more permanent basis; Nicola Coe, who was voted to full membership, and Zoe Rubens who has become an honorary guest artist.
Nicola says: ‘My work aims to highlight the details of nature that seems so often over looked in this modern age. The collecting of natural finds is key to my visual work and the resulting images come about from the influences of the place where these objects are found.‘
These two spoons perfectly illustrate Nicola’s love of found objects and place; the shells (Limpet and Saddle Oyster) and driftwood were found in Porthmeor, Cornwall.
Thorpe Beach Afternoon
‘Thorpe Beach Afternoon’ celebrates the birds that nest on our coast lines and honours the environmment we share with them. A beautiful and unique artwork made with dried seaweed, grass, recycled fishing net, sand, black sumo ink and liquid gold ink representing a memory of Thorpe Beach near Aldeburgh, July 2020.
Zoe also works with found pieces, though of a slightly different nature, she explains: ‘My sculptures are made from a mixture of ceramics, concrete, ferrous and non-ferrous metals and these can be welded, cast and/or etched. I make sculpture reflecting my interest in the effect of politics and power on individuals and on the world around us. I am interested in emotions, jobs, relationships, trust, survival, joy, love, money, what limits us, and how we limit ourselves.‘
I’m a keen fan of both artists’ work, indeed the spoons are my latest purchase and I own a hanging construction of Zoe’s that hangs above my kitchen sink to cheer me as I’m washing up. I also follow both artists on Instagram and have much enjoyed following Zoe’s lockdown project, a garden wall made, as you would imagine, from all sorts and colourful gin bottles, my only regret is that I’m not the neighbour on the other side, enjoying her wonderful wall and the gin!
Garden wall by Zoe Rubens