Recent events have changed our relationship with materials beyond recognition. What is available, when, how and from where have become considerations like never before.
This may be a lasting legacy in a society used to unhindered consumerism. What if we were to live and create using only materials locally available to us?
Gatherers is a digital and physical exhibition by OmVed Gardens, Thrown and Metafleur. The exhibition showcases a group of artists with distinctive connections to their materials.
Foraged, dug, cut and collected, the materials used by the artists and makers are not just about form, but are a way of exploring their surroundings; unique stories revolving around a sense of place.
Using the medium of ceramics as a starting point, the exhibition includes wild clay projects that stretch from Tambourine Mountain, Australia, right back to OmVed Gardens itself. Slate and gorse from North Wales are combined with clay in a collection titled ‘The Gold Beneath the Gorse’ by award-winning graduate Rhiannon Gwyn, while the partnership of artists Steph Buttle and Tim Gray presents the collection ‘Unessential Items’, a series of sculptures inspired and formed by storm-revealed root balls, “all those hidden tendrils suddenly discovered and looking mysterious”, found on the Dorset coast.
The ceramic work and exhibition content will be further expanded with foraged floral displays from Metafleur flower studio. This will include an intertwined collaborative wild garden installation by Metafleur’s founder Alice McCabe and ceramicist Zuleika Melluish on the central stage. With Alice’s usual suppliers suspended, Metafleur uses solely flowers dried from previous events together with materials from friends offcuts and materials.
Originally part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival, and due to open during lockdown, the exhibition will exist in the digital sphere to begin with, enabling guests to experience foraged art through Virtual Reality, online workshops, film and photography.
As the United Kingdom begins to re-emerge following the lifting of restrictions, the exhibition will slowly take form physically, with members of the public invited to OmVed Gardens in line with government guidelines. This could be in three weeks or three months. Like the works on display and the state of society, the exhibition’s path will be improvised as it progresses, an on-going experiment of sorts.
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