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Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

gregperason6We are delighted to be joined by another young garden sculptor this season – Greg Pearson . We discovered and met Greg at the Firle garden show and loved the twists , turns and organic forms of his work .

gregpearson1As well as his range of quirky and winsome sculptures for any space, Greg will be bringing a large aspirational piece which will be taking centre stage in our newly revamped border. We cannot wait to see this ! 

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Here is Greg in his own words –

“I am a young sculptor specialising in metal garden features and structures. Brought up in a heavily influential design and art family setting, I have grown a passion for abstract shapes and natural form. I now love creating unique garden and outdoor features working almost exclusively in metal – mostly steel.

gregpearson3I seek inspiration from all types of gardens and settings, and favour the theme of using single lengths of material to create sculptures with unique and provoking shapes and forms, not purposely based on any existing flower or plant – instead creating new ones, to fill the imaginary void in ones garden flowerbed! All of my sculptures are completely handmade, hand bent free form by eye. This lets all pieces be unique and have a natural organic feel.

gregpearson6I’m based in Effingham, Surrey, where I share fantastically well equipped family workshop, and I’m always close nature and inspiration in our garden and surrounding woodland “

Greg Pearson – Garden Sculptor

http://www.gregpearsonoriginals.co.uk

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IMG_0390Flip to the Bee Side – Paul tells his tale about his bees

As I walked past my five hives of bees this evening, not paying much attention, I heard a deep buzzing noise coming from one of them. I bent my ear close to the hive entrance(there being no flying on this damp dusk) and the buzzing increased as if they were being disturbed. I glanced up and realised that I had failed to observe a medium sized swarm of about 5000 bees, clustered on the outside of the hive 6 inches from my face. Yikes! I thought, along with some other less Enid Blyton like curses!!

Have a Go Beeman.

My challenge, I decided, was to find a way of collecting, hiving and feeding the swarm, within the twenty minutes of daylight left to me. I had to think quick, and this is what I did.

Cakus Interuptus

Firstly, interrupt Pauline making Rhubarb cake in the kitchen to boil the kettle and make some sugar syrup. Then search for a suitable way of scanning the  bees off the flat wooden exterior of the hive. My eyes alighted on a box of 12 Schweppes tonic waters. The empty cardboard box, with it’s end cut off made a perfect scoop for bee collection. So I hoped.

Job Done!

I trotted off to the bees in the field, got my kit on, and slowly slid the tonic box, whilst holding it tight, flat against the hive, until all the bees slipped into the box. Amazingly, I collected all but three bees in a matter of seconds. Two minutes later they were in the new hive with a feeder full of syrup and a reduced entrance to discourage other bees from robbing.

Moral of the Tale 

a swarm in the hive is worth two in the bush !

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p1010748Its not just size that matters – Space matters in Japan .Finding that luxury of an inch  is precious, so making that every inch count in gardening terms is crucial. And so it is with squeezing your green spaces into an urban environment.

p1000632Looking for a leaf- squeeze it in a brick-thick slither of ground next to your front door.But it has to compete with all the other paraphernalia of life at the same time.

p1000690Looking for that green gasp of texture – shoehorn it into a pot or container artfully cramped on the threshold.There is rare beauty captured in a second.

p1020166Collections of pots seems to work as well to build up a range of textures and variations on a theme – very much a theme of -green.

p1000651And there is of course the very essence of the thing which is all about control and discipline.An ikebana of a paring down to what is essential and what can be taken away until all you can see is the chosen plant or planting. The bare essentials of a garden.

p1010298I admit I feel like I am in a bit of a strait jacket here in this place.Straining against the constraint .Japan – This place of extreme control.I long for our wide open space of Sussex Prairies. I yearn for that voluptuous exuberance of planting again .. oh for that luxury of space.

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Anna Ray Artist in Residence 2015-2106 ‘RHS Chelsea Flower Show’ 2016 digital prints, acrylic, wood, paint

 

If you missed seeing Anna Ray’s extraordinary and  momentous artwork at RHS Chelsea Flower Show you now have another chance to catch it here at Sussex Prairies.The cube has now moved down here to its summer vacation site  and we have been Wowed and hope you will too !

IMG_7263Anna was the Artist in Residence for the Royal Horticultural Society in 2015 and 2016 and during the course of this residency she captured thousands of photographs documenting the people, plants and processes involved in creating the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015.

IMG_6992The images from this vast collection have been assembled into a momentous artwork. The creation of the piece was supported by:The Royal Horticultural Society,Epson,K2 Associates Ltd, and Chep.


IMG_7261BIOGRAPHY

Anna Ray studied BA (Hons) and MFA Tapestry at Edinburgh College of Art between1994 and 1999. She became a Lecturer in the department soon after graduation and taughtfor six years before relocating to London in 2006. She was artist in residence atWinterbourne Botanic Garden, University of Birmingham in 2004 and at FrancesBardsley School, Romford, 2006-2007.

From 2015-2016 Ray was artist in residence at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Through her teaching, she has raised awareness of newtechnologies and contemporary art and design practice with a diverse range of audiences through discussion and making. She has run workshops for major galleries, notably, TheNational Galleries of Scotland and the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh. She has led workshops for ‘The British Art Show’, ‘The Big Draw’ and devised ambitious community outreach projects, receiving an Innovative Arts Education Award in 2001.

IMG_7265Ray has been granted major awards for her work; Scottish Arts Council Crafts CreativeDevelopment Award (2004), Scottish Arts Council Assistance Grant to an Individual Artist (2003), The Hope Scott Trust Award (2001), Edinburgh Visual Arts and CraftsAward (2006). Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally over the last twenty years in both applied art and fine art contexts. Recent exhibitions include ‘Collect’ Saatchi Gallery (2012) and the touring exhibition ‘Craft Generation’ St. Andrews Museum(2014-2015). She has been commissioned to make work for public collections: Paintings in Hospitals and Marie Curie Cancer Care. In 2014 the international law firm Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co acquired and commissioned a series of major works for their new premises in Birmingham.

Read more about Anna Ray on her website   www.annaray.co.uk and Facebook page Anna Ray Art

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jeannedargentimage6

We are delighted to be joined this season by Jeanne Argent and her sculptures. Come and see how their merge so beautifully into our landscape.

My work is informed and inspired by the natural world and in particular the plants and trees in my garden.

jeannedargentimage1The Downs and the coastline of Sussex are also a source of inspiration and I observe and combine these subjects to produce shapes and patterns which I explore to make sculpture, prints, textile and mixed media works.

jeannedargentimage2The sculptures are modelled, moulded and cast by me in low number limited editions and are made of Cement for outdoor display. I also make smaller indoor pieces, some of which are fired and glazed ceramics.

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www.jeanneargent.co.uk

jeanneargent@gmail.com

01273 842565

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Bra- Drona at Cardrona, New Zealand

Bra- Drona at Cardrona, New Zealand

on a day when we have had sun,hail,snow and sun ….Vest is not a sexy word nor can its name be spake in this garden !

A lacey slip of a thing it could be considered a wonder garment of warmth and subtlety but the fact is we are looking for something a little more robust . We are searching for a solution to the age old problem of the gap of winter colly wobbles created when you bend and stretch and today we need something of strength and purpose to breach the gap between trouser top and achingly exposed back acreage.What will it be ? The Damart dance of destiny ? a sneaky peak through the small ads of shame and nicker pink thermolactyls ? what  to do as the prairie winds blow coolly this springtide?

 

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IMG_0067This time of year – January  and February is the time of year when Paul and I start to burn down our Sussex Prairie garden and people are shocked and stunned and always ask us why . So it is time to tell the story.

IMG_5740Why do we Burn our Prairie ?

Big spaces require big solutions and our garden is no exception to this . We have probably now over eight acres of garden requiring to be razed to the ground at some point over the winter months. More traditional methods in your average garden would include cutting down with secateurs, scythe or strimmer. But we have a different solution because of the size of the task.

Burning is a quick , clean and dramatic way of clearing away all the dead last years growth and solves the problem of what to do with the mountain of material created in such a clearance.

IMG_1260Because it is Fun and a little bit dangerous !

Burning the garden on a big scale is a whole load of fun too and is one of the tasks our volunteers love to lend us a hand with . Everyone loves a good blaze after all .

IMG_5854How do you do it ?

In ideal weather and ground conditions we prefer to be able to leave the garden standing all winter and allow the winter frosts and winds dry the stems,stalks and leaves to a crisp.This would mean that on a windy and dry day we could burn the garden in situ without further ado. A dramatic and scary solution !

This year has been a bit of an exception with major wet  and warm weather leaving many plants green in many parts and this means that they  will not burn fully whilst standing in place. So we have created the bonfire burn this year . This involves building mini bonfires throughout the bed on the pathways and  we have had to cut and burn as we go.

However the big clumps of grasses have been burnt in their place and what a roar of flame and crackle of fire ensued!

IMG_5847But what about the plants ?

people ask do the plants get damaged ..?. well they don’t because we do this at a time of year when the plants themselves are dormant . Their roots  and buds are safely underground and are not damaged by the fire which moves quickly overhead (thats why we need a windy day to carry the fire quickly and ferociously over the top of the plants) A good Wind and Dry weather is the key !

 

 

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