Behind the Hedgerow

During National Hedgerow Week I am sharing more about my Blossom & Thorn project creating artwork about hedges along the National Forest Way. Today I’m sharing a bit of behind the scenes about my developing ideas for the artwork I will be creating over the next couple of months to share at Timber Festival.

This project concept really started a year or so ago while walking locally across fields and past hedges. I’ve got a longer-term project about local landscape and history within walking distance of my house and hedges have formed part of this ongoing research. So when I saw the National Forest Arts Grants opportunity it made sense to come up with a project proposal involving landscape history and trees.

My proposal was to work with volunteers to walk in areas of the National Forest and identify historic landscape features like boundaries, abandoned farms and old woodlands, as well as old hedges, and from this create an artwork for Timber Festival.

In January I visited the Timber Festival site to consider how I might present some work within the trees and an old hedgerow caught my eye and suddenly clarified the project. I would make work about hedges in the National Forest and present it, if possible, in this old hedgerow.

My working drawing of the piece in situ is below, centre. The other images are pages from my project book as I work through various ideas of what I could make and what I would ask volunteer hedge spotters to investigate.

So now there are hedge spotters around the National Forest area walking parts of the National Forest Way and sending me their findings and hedge stories which I will incorporate into the artwork. There’s still time to take part, you can find out all the information here. And if you are already doing this, please don’t forget to send in your hedge discoveries by 31st May.

I’m sharing much more of my development of this project with my Maker Membership group. My Maker Membership is an online group for makers who want to build more meaning and research into their practice and want to learn from me and share with others. I also set a theme and creative brief for any members who want to explore new research and ideas along with. At the moment the theme is Woodlands to tie in with my Blossom & Thorn project. I’ve shared some recent experiments with quilts in woodlands and the background and development of this project around hedges. Membership is open for anyone who makes and wants to think about their practice, reflect and learn. There’s more information below.

If you are looking for a creative community with ongoing support and resources to challenge your thinking and take your creative practice further, have a look at my Maker Membership. It’s a monthly rolling membership that you can join any time. I create workbooks, blog posts and videos about all kinds of things including research, creative development and reflection. There’s also a lively community who share their work and their thoughts via the members chat and we meet monthly on Zoom for a group mentoring session which is always really inspiring and encouraging. It’s £25 per month to join with no minimum term. Find out more here.

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