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A Making Moves Project
The second Making Moves residency used the site of Bratch Locks, a series of canal locks and buildings in South Staffordshire, to create a local temporary sculpture trail.
Willow artist Spencer Jenkins was selected through interview for the project and created a series of forms inspired by seeds and pods. These were sited along the canal.
This residency was a partnership with British Waterways, who supported Spencer. He worked with their Arts Development Officer and Environment Officer to identify locations for his sculptures and resolve health and safety issues.
One of Spencer’s sculptures was subsequently selected to be displayed at Baggeridge Country Park.
Spencer mentored the selected graduate for this project, Gemma Green.
The public were invited to get involved with Spencer as he worked along the canal.
‘I find the prospect of this project very exciting as it involves working along the canal side, with wildlife and the natural environment, enabling me to respond to the organic nature of these spaces in which the work will be situated. I would be interested in creating a series willow sculptures inspired by the origins plant life; seeds, seed pods and nuts from trees, water plants, grasses, flowers and weeds that grow along the canal and its surrounding areas. The geometric and organic forms of seeds, pods and nuts produced by plants would translate as simple, stunning oversized structures that could dominate the canal side. I am excited by the idea that such tiny genetically programmed pods are the start of new life, which amazing beautiful plants to gigantic trees grow from.
Just imagine a series of massive geometric natural sculptures the size of an adult person or bigger dotted along the canal. The hanging of these forms in trees would create an elusion of floating along in the air or water. There may also be areas for the structures to protrude out of the ground or building as to suggest the seed has landed and is waiting to germinate.
Through working in this way I feel I can be very sympathetic to the environment.
The series of works will make up a full image; each piece could be snippets of giant seeds or dissected abstract structures making up a whole sculpture. Using the idea of panoramic picture, fusing several images together to make one large image. Having more than one sculpture making up one larger piece or series of pieces. This is to encourage the public to use a good stretch of the canal and move along its banks to realise or understand the produced works.’
‘The Bratch Locks residency was the first time I have built a series of works for a sculpture trail that solely involved my own work and that was to be exhibited publicly. I was really pleased to get the opportunity to make a series of sculptures to my own brief rather than being commissioned to make artwork for someone else’s preconceived idea. This process allowed me to develop my ideas conceptually as well as working with two very different techniques that I have developed within my own working practice and then produce them on a large scale.’
Spencer Jenkins and Gemma Green.
Developing people, ideas and opportunities through contemporary craft.