All posts by Joy Merron

My work has been described as calm, serene, contemplative and ethereal. I translate 2 dimensional surface patterns into 3 dimensional forms and vice versa, hand and laser cutting different materials and altering scales. I use the geometry and rhythms in nature and the urban landscape to inspire themes. Where appropriate, I introduce colour through projection and the light spectrum. I very much enjoy the method and much of my work is ‘process led’.

The final weekend of Somerset Art Weeks

And so the end is in sight – all the hard work and preparations have resulted in lots of visitors and so many interesting conversations.  Seeing and hearing the response to my work has been fantastic and encouraging.  Now the exciting journey ahead is about to begin…further developments of this body of work, commissions to work on, future exhibitions planned and moving into a new studio space at the Silk Mill.

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I would especially like to thank my son Alex and friends Suzi and Di for helping me with the stewarding when I was unable to be there.

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Summing up before setting up

Earlier this year, I spent some time wandering around and across the Somerset Levels, allowing my meanderings to seep into my sketchbook, making mental notes about what inspired me.

As I started to pull ideas together, I was drawn to the structures that bridge the rivers, land and ditches and how the shadows and reflections they cast, extend the space they occupy.

Three in particular represented to me the imprint of agriculture, architecture and change on the Levels.

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My main inspiration has been the Cocklemoor Bridge at Langport, designed by Richard La Trobe Batemen, contrasting with one crossing the Parrett further downstream on Stathe Drive near Stoke St Gregory.

On first appearance, the Levels are a slowly changing rural environment, but at every turn there is evidence of the human impact through technology and materials. I have tried to capture this in subtle ways through visual and sound recordings that will be projected onto surfaces, creating change and movement.

Working from their structures and the imagery of shadows and reflections thrown by them, I have distilled shapes into surface pattern, cutting away areas to create new shadows and line.

Now to display it all so it makes sense to me and everyone who visits the Black Swan.

Hot off the press….

With an international reputation for designing and building structures from bridges to furniture,  I’m very excited and privileged to be able to display Richard La Trobe Bateman’s scale model of the Cocklemoor Bridge alongside my own work.

Cutting and Layering

The thing with cutting lots of layers in different colours is that you never quite know what’s going to happen when yo put them together.  I have chosen a black, grey and orange card to represent the colours of  steel, safety barrier netting and shadows.  

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As a textile designer at heart, I  was very excited by the way they work together and the amazing range of patterns I can create from them.

Processes and plans

I’ve been investigating different ways to cut to create a representation of the bridge architecture of the Levels.  I’m considering a combination of hand cuts and laser cuts to link the past with the present, craft and technology.  I’ve taken the repeating pattern of chain link fencing, safety barrier fencing and the mesh on the Cocklemoor Bridge to make layers in a non woven fibre. This is now cut!  6 layers of laser cut hexagons to play with.

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and a small scale experiment with grids on 250 gm Velvet Somerset paper

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and a little tester /prototype for the safety barrier fencing replica that I’m going to cut next week on 240 gm smooth card…

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Alongside this, I’ve been freestyle cutting long lengths of lining paper basing the cut shapes on an eclectic mix and blend of shadows and shapes spotted on my travels across the Levels, using light to add additional patterns of light and dark

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Relating to the space

I’m now getting to the stage where I must start to fine tune my ideas and respond to the studio space.  investigating the work and presentation of other artists.  Starting with  David Ward and  his ice skating movements, Ambika P3 , he projects the  changing patterns drawn by skaters onto the floor

http://www.westminster.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/2009/david-ward-exhibition-at-p3

and the beautiful ‘Waterfalls’

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Next is a visit to the new Turner Gallery in Margate to see how they use the large airy galleries and sea and sky light to influence and inspire the artists work, allowing time for reflection, incorporating the environment to enhance the experience .  Edmund de Waal and Spencer Finch encourage viewing from unconventional positions and taking time to see the changes.

http://www.turnercontemporary.org/exhibitions

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This image reflects something of what I may be aiming for.

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Seeing these has opened up more possibilities and inspired me to be bold in my use of the pop up studio space – time for another visit!