My contribution to the exhibition will include a short film and sculptural work that explores the history and mythology of ancient yew trees - in particular their relationship to Druidic and Christian sacred places, and their representation as a symbol of both immortality and death. There are yew trees in Britain of over 5000 years old: they are the oldest living things in Europe, and pre-date the Christian burial grounds in which they are usually found. With this in mind, in my work I hope to reflect on ideas surrounding grief and mortality in relation to religious practice, and the use of tree symbolism within different folklore.
The film will be shot on Super 8 and will include visits to different sites of ancient Yews in Britain, as well as an attempt to propagate an ancient yew tree.
Ruth Martindale is a London based artist who graduated with a MA from Wimbledon in 2008.
Ruth has exhibited in London and across the UK recent shows include (N)Everland at the Nunnery in Bow London and Tales from the Electric Forest at the Crypt Gallery St Pancras, Ruth was recently awarded the Ellesmere Sculpture Scholarship and undertook a three month long project in Shropshire which culminated in an two part exhibition in Qube gallery and outside at Ellesmere Lake. Ruth is also a member of the Post artists group who organise events which focus on alternatively sited artworks. There most recent project Signs of Life, was a two part event that featured an alternative tour of Colliers Wood, London and an exhibition in a derelict house in Liverpool.
Ruth’s work explores the history and uses of places and objects, exploring traditional and invented technologies manufacture and crafts.
Her current body of work explores the idea of a forest or woodland as a place that is entwined into British history. In the past it was a very obvious part of our existence, vital for food, fuel, building materials and medicines, and was the home to spirits, fairy tales, mysterious, dangerous and dark happenings. Today its air of mystery and the unknown still lingers.
Ruth is also fascinating by the process of making and in this work and is currently looking at the use of natural materials within a woodland, researching into the forgotten, and investigating the yet unknown uses of different plants.
Una Hamilton is a Norwegian artist, soon to graduate from the Royal College of Art. She has contributed to a number of London based group exhibitions, most notably Hal Silver at the Russian Club studios in Nov 2009. In 2007 she exhibited work at the Center for Design and Architecture in Oslo. She also regularly co-curates exhibitions with the group Five Storey Projects, which has recently included a run of events at the David Roberts Art Foundation.
Una's work meditates upon ideas considered to be on the periphery of accepted thought. She is intrigued by the pockets of “alternative” ideas that develop on the side of society and how they often develop a complex code of ideas and value systems of their own. They often disregard and reject commonly accepted facts and behavioural patterns, whilst inventing new forms of truth, sometimes through conscious and willing self-deceit in a bid to create meaning.
By engaging with these topics in an art context she hopes to generate discussion about how we perceive and judge the world around us, and question the rigidity and elasticity of our inherent beliefs and systems of thought. By engaging with views that lie outside of “ordinary” knowledge she hopes the viewers of her work might open themselves up to a more interesting engagement with the world.
The image above is taken from her 'Ley Lines Series', shown at the recent Hal Silver exhibition.
Labels: LEY LINES
I have commissioned textile designers Hannah Armstrong and Nicola Robinson to work on a seating design for the exhibition space. Both designers graduated from Camberwell College of Art in 2008, and have since pursued various design projects involving knitting, embroidery and screen printing. Craft and hand textile processes are central to their work, and in this project they intend to explore our emotional responses to texture according to our environment. This is their first collaborative project.
Another artist has been confirmed to contribute to the exhibition. Stuart Patience graduated from Kingston University 2008 with a degree in Illustration and Animation. Since graduating he has been working as a freelance illustrator and animator based in London. Previous clients include the London Sinfonietta, BP, Channel 4 and Creative Review.
Reoccurring themes within Patience’s work include architectural forms, nature and mythology. His interpretation of these subjects is often portrayed with a darkly surreal, ambiguous approach that is simultaneously beautiful yet unsettling. The image above is a pencil drawing from book he is compiling on Norse mythology. He will be showing a selection of these drawings in the L&M exhibition.
'Then, far, remote, through rocky pathless crags, over wild hills that bristled with great woods, I thence arrived to where the Gorgon dwelt. Along the way, in fields and by the roads, I saw on all sides men and animals--like statues--turned to flinty stone at sight of dread Medusa's visage. Nevertheless reflected on the brazen shield, I bore upon my left, I saw her horrid face. When she was helpless in the power of sleep and even her serpent-hair was slumber-bound, I struck, and took her head sheer from the neck.--To winged Pegasus the blood gave birth, his brother also, twins of rapid wing'
Ovid - 'Metamorphoses'
The photograph above was taken at the Medusa shoot, which took place in North Norfolk last weekend. The film will be shown for the first time at the L&M exhibition. The film, by Barbie Lawrie, Agathe Finney and Daisy MacDonald, is an interpretation of the mythological story, and focuses on themes of transformation and horror conveyed through landscape.