Artist in residence – Caroline Dear – Bulletin #5
Well it has been an intense week – I have been making as much as I can in the time available and it is never enough! I am working with new materials found close to the Llantarnam Grange Art Centre in Cwmbran; pine needles, Cyprus twigs and New Zealand Flax. I am also using techniques that I am not so used to; weaving using the Scots pine needles, binding the Cyprus twigs and plaiting the New Zealand Flax.
I did discover some new places too; very atmospheric wetland and shore line at the mouth of the river Usk and the Severn estuary and another day excellent upland / moorland on the hills above Blaenavon. On this walk we also came across the old tramline which was laid between the Blaenavon Iron works and the canal near Abergavenny, a straight green line amid the rock and bracken.
I have not managed to make as many pairs of shoes as I had hoped, too optimistic about what I can achieve in the time! I have finished St.Dial’s slippers and Llantarnam Grange Loafers. The plants were gathered from close to the art centre and from a field off St.Dial’s road, a meadow habitat where I found Dyer’s Green weed, a plant which is new to me and is an indicator of ancient meadow. Many thanks to Steve Williams the Ecologist at Torfaen council for helping me find these great sites and for interesting plant information.
I have been setting up the space today: a wall of experimental work, a trolley of plants gathered but not used, three delicate hanging plants and some shoes…