Monday, 18 April 2011

A Colourful day!

I have had a fab day on Saturday as I went to the Ruskin Mill, near Stroud, for a training on dyeing with plants.

Not only I learnt many precious tips for the project, but I also discovered the Ruskin Mill, a highly inspirational place with very fresh ideas for a different education.

I will surely report this to the farm as food for thoughts on a new education centre in the making.

You can come and see me at the farm on Wednesday as I will be testing more shades of red using english grown madder mixed with a few secret ingredients!

I will light a few fires and prepare many vats with different mixes so if you fancy abit of fresh air and hard work, I surely could do with help between 10am and 3pm.

I have set up a colour sample board in the education room for you to follow the progress of my experiments.I am still to find the best shade of red for the piece.

I am looking for the eprfect "Turkey Red" so if you know any tips on how to get it, please feed in this blog.

Look forward to see you there!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Monday 11th of April

7.30 am on site to test how long the water will take to warm up.

I light my first fire with the rpint of my first rejected arts council application for the project; kind of satisfying!(I kept a digital copy for record)

I have now swaped my town shoes for a pair of wellies which will stay at the farm(a new shoe rack will be organised soon for volunteers and me)

The amazing aspect of the project is to be integrated to another project at such an early stage; the education part of the farm is currently in the shaping and there is great potential in being there now.

Even the fire for the bath water becomes a way to clear the site of pallets and branches.

The sheep have come back to the next door field so I can see them form the shed. They are the life behind the project after all and it feels great having their company when I am on site.

8.00am, dog walker and artist David Podger comes to visit.

The rest of the day goes smoothly from heating up one bath and the other, transfering sheep fleece from detergent water to clean water(Thank you Ecover! to make sure i am not spoiling the field).

It is all about testing the reaction of the wool in hot water, seeing how to transport it best and then adapting the process, plan the right tools for the right job....

Volunteers and staff provide me with many ideas on the way.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

A Thousand Sheep: It is happening!

A Thousand Sheep: It is happening!

It is happening!

Week 1 at River Bourne Farm;

I moved in the sheep shed, field 3, and started officially as the farm artist in residence on Monday 4Th of April. It has been a long ride already as I came to speak to the farm about the project in May last year.

Since, I have been working on funding applications and have been developing ideas with many partners, friends, artists... I am now delighted to be on site and started with a week of heavy duty clearance of the site around the shed. For those of you who are not yet familiar with the project, here is a little background info and an invite to get involved in the shaping, thinking, clearing, ...whatever you wish. I will be based at the farm for a period of one year during which I will be making a large Sculpture/installation from the sheep fleece gathered at the farm. The idea started one morning , two years ago, when I arrived at my studio, based on ex-military grounds, to discover 1000 sheep grazing on the surrounding field. I then wished to create a large piece with the fleece. A Thousand sheep will involve many people in the making of a large piece of a contemporary art work as I am hoping to gather and process the fleece from 100 sheep. I will start washing the fleece and prepare it for dying at the shed from April 11th and would welcome any volunteers from all ages to come and take part, view, guide or question the process. As the work evolves, I will reveal the deeper meanings of the work.

I will also run workshops in schools to explore all the different use we could make of sheep fleece as an art material. This blog will be a diary for the project but is also a platform for you all to feed in. You can send comments, ideas, concerns and questions. I will post dates for hands-on days which will also be advertised in the farm newsletter.

The purpose of the residency is also to assess the potential of having a resident artist in the place on a long term basis and develop more art at the farm so you can feed any thoughts and ideas on this as well. I look forward to develop this project with you