H&C Recommends: west lands
Words Danica Wyber-Thomas
Photography Emma Lewis
South West England has a rich history of crafting traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation and continue to be a source of inspiration for aspiring makers and artists.
In celebration of this artistic heritage, our Bruton neighbour, Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset, is hosting a new exhibition, west lands, showcasing the work of makers who are based in or have a strong connection with the South West. Whether working with locally sourced willow, ash or sheep’s fleece, materials from the local area have been deeply incorporated into each of the works on show, using the exploration of place, environment and landscape as equal sources of inspiration.
Each of the seven exhibitors have produced work specially for Make, creating an exhibition that reflects upon the varied and evocative topography of the South West. From Caroline Sharp’s timeless and tactile woven clay seed forms, to Anthony Bryant’s huge turned green ash vessels, which push both maker and material to their limits, each piece represents and references the region that inspired it.
The weaving tradition so prevalent in the West Country is highlighted further in Hilary Burns’ willow baskets, made from the willow she harvests from beds that she planted 20 years ago, and the fabric wall hangings made by the Bristol Weaving Mill, using locally sourced wools and reclaimed materials.
Jonty Sale’s haunting photographic renderings of the Dorset landscape are on display throughout the gallery and their ethereal shapes are echoed in Caroline Sharp’s willow capsules, sitting in pleasing juxtaposition to Joanna Still’s sturdy smoke-fired clay pots and the abstract clay and wood sculptures of Stephanie Buttle.
west lands at Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset captures the traditions and nature of the South West, which is at once ephemeral and enduring.