I want to make a collection of cabinets that hang on the wall like beautiful landscape paintings, whose interiors take you inside the landscape, and that everyone can see because it will go on a tour of public galleries around Britain. Well, thanks to the Arts Council of Wales, that dream is getting significantly closer to reality.
This collection, called land, sea and light, will use fine, handmade cabinets as a sort of tactile sculpture to explore the shapes and qualities of the dramatic Pembrokeshire coast. I’ll use layers of wood to create abstract landscape reliefs on the doors, and the interiors will develop that imagery so that as you enter the cabinet, you enter the landscape.
I want to go way beyond a literal wooden image of the landscape and use the qualities of the wood as a visual medium to explore the form, energy, movement and space of the place. What is it about this landscape that makes so many of us fall in love with it? Rather than answer that with words I want to answer it in form and image.
My furniture deigning mentor, David Savage, said, “ if you can explain the issue in words it ain’t much good as an image….which is why so many good artists just shut about what they do.” So I’ll take the hint and try to keep the images coming on this blog so that you can follow the progress if it interests you.
At the moment the Arts Council of Wales is funding stage one of the project (bless them!), and David Randell, director of the Waterfront Gallery in Milford Haven, has agreed to put on the exhibition in early 2015 before it tours (bless him too!) So I’m out on the cliffs when the weather is kind to look and absorb and back at the studio when it’s wet and wild to turn the drawings into designs, and right now, the sun is out!
Follow the progress of the landscape cabinets on Grant’s furniture making blog