spent my oneplace residency working exclusively
in the Japanese Gardens at Tatton Park. This was because I felt
the forms and colours that exist there related to my practice. The
human scale of the garden was important too as the intimacy and
playfulness in scale correlates to my wider practice.Throughout
the residency - which I used as a period to explore, record and
ask questions of both the space and my own practice - I used different
mediums; drawing and collage, sculpture, photography and video.
This was so I could explore and research seasonal changes and shifts
of time in the gardens throughout the autumn and winter months.The
majority of the work focussed on two central ideas:
The comparison of permanent structures against the flux of nature; and the aperture as a picture frame for viewing idealised vistas both prevalent themes within the garden.
I have temporarily located much of the work within the gardens and documented this as a record of the event. One such piece of work is Fleet, a series of ice apertures placed around the gardens; sometimes tied with ribbon to structures, sometimes propped up on the floor, sometimes with gilded leaves cast into the ice. This work mirrored the motif of the circle found throughout the garden. They melted during the day often taking 5 or 6 hours to thaw and disappear. This process was recorded through photography and video.
Another piece of work manifesting itself as a document is fallenfrozens, a collection of Acer leaves frozen in plaster which were temporarily situated and documented within the tea house. The sense was that they had just blown in, but had changed time – from the momentary to the permanent.The same use of the document - as a permanent record of a temporary installation - has been used in a third series of abstract plaster sculptures Slate. These small plaster works were placed in relation to the stone columns and grey gravel found in the formal Japanese Garden on the central island.
They were finished with aluminium wire and glass wax to reflect the tones of colours in gravel gardens, the simplicity and economy of line and the delicacy of dew.Finally other work like Contour responds to ideas of the borrowed landscape by replicating a faraway horizon, made up from many small component parts.
Second, third and fourth row photographs by Samantha Donnelly