Friday, August 31, 2007

An Eye On New Eyes: The Film

The Engine Room presents a Cockroach Film
Produced and Directed by Evie Wright

The Blackdown Babes

The Blackdown Babes are: Libby Lister, Barbara Dunkley, Gilly Pocock, Sharon Jane, Carol Kelly, Karen Treble, Christine Gabriel, Janet Stubbings, Marilyn Woodland and Beth Luck.

Visit their website at


Monday, July 23, 2007

Hearnshaw / Green Duo

Click the link above to hear a short sound (mp3) clip demonstrating a blend of music, voice, and ambient recording. Charlie Hearnshaw on clarinet, percussion and synthesizer, Maxine Green on guitar and vocals, Blackdown Hills' garden birds on song. From the track 'Au bois de mon coeur' (In the wood of my heart) by Georges Brassens, on Projet Brassens' CD 'Le vent'.

Click to Play 'Improvisation 2'

images: Mike Eleftheriades

Liz Gregory

Liz Gregory is a painter who lives and works in the Blackdown Hills. Her 'New Eyes' commission is based on the farms in the Blackdowns near her home and includes all aspects of farming as it is today and how it has changed over the last fifty years.

Click the mp3 file to hear the sounds of the farmyard as Liz made work on Guy's Farm.

Jessie Ford & Theresa Caruana

‘New Eyes Experiment 02’

Following the successful launch of ‘Experiment 01’ in December at St Andrew’s Church, Chardstock, artists Jessie Ford and Theresa Caruana presented their second large-scale public digital projection event upon the hills and woods of Lee Hill, Membury on Saturday 14th April 2007 from 8 – 10 pm.

Experiment 02 celebrates the beauty and diversity of the Blackdown Hills landscape and its communities, placing photographic and video images, taken from the region, back onto the landscape they were born out of. This series of experimental digital events aimed to explore the possibilities of digital technology, make a contribution to contemporary digital art practice and foster an exchange between human society and the natural environment we all depend upon.

‘New Eyes Experiment 01’

The first part of Jessie Ford and Theresa Caruana's commission happened on Saturday 9th December 2006 when large scale projections were beamed on to the exterior and interior of St Andrews Church in Chardstock near Chard, Somerset. The aim of this large scale projection entitled ‘Experiment.01’ was to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the Blackdown Hills landscape and it’s communities.

Click images above to enlarge.

This event is the first in a series of large scale projections around the Blackdown Hills.

More information and links regarding Jessie Ford and Theresa Caruana will be appearing shortly.

Dane Watkins

For part of his New Eyes commission Dane Watkins has researched and built a weather station at his home.

You can see how it works from his animation below.

Please click the windmill

To link to the live weather feed please click the link below:

Dane will also be presenting animated gallery work at The
Brewhouse Gallery in Taunton throughout September.

For more information about Dane Watkins click on the website link below:

Picture of the sun setting over the Blackdown Hills

Andre Wallace

Andre Wallace plans to use the Former All Saints Church on the edge of the Neroche Forest as a temporary space in which to show artwork that will reveal a sense of place, the past and the passage of time.

Exploration of new digital media will act as a catalyst for this work, stimulating new ways of seeing and interpreting ideas.

Much of Andre Wallace's work as a public artist is concerned with the themes of 'journeying' and notions of antithesis, past, present and future; arrival and departure; navigation and transition through life. To explore these ideas he uses the human figure, often encapsulated in a boat or another formal vehicle, this creates an environment in which to place and contain the figure.

For further information click on the links below:

Royal British Society of Sculptors - Andre Wallace

Simon Lee Dicker

Simon Lee Dicker has been commissioned to 'Escape from the Blackdown Hills'. His proposal states that whenever he enters the Blackdown Hills he usually leaves by a different route. Why does he get lost on his way out?

The work he aims to make for this commission will involve working with advanced computer mapping software as he journeys on foot across the Blackdown Hills. GPS will be used as a tracking device.

So far he has identified 'his' centre of the Blackdown Hills and following the eight main points of the compass has escaped twice from this point. The image above summarises his journey south. Below is a detail of his escape North East.

Visit Simon Lee Dicker's 'Lost' blog at

To see images from an unrelated Blackdown Hills workshop Simon Lee Dicker ran in October last year please click here.

Further information about Simon Lee Dicker can be found at the following websites:

Sally Clark

Sally Clark is a painter and her 'New Eyes' commission involves making black and white paintings whilst out in the Blackdown Hills landscape. She is surveying the local landscape for the best sites to carry out her work as well as experimenting with different art materials and techniques. Her paintings are being informed by using a digital camera to record the different stages of making a work.

Sarah Le Breton

Outdoor textile canopy - inspired by Honiton lacework.

Working with silver plated wire usually found in the aeronaut industry, Sarah has created a 2.5 metre circular canopy that aims to capture the highly naturalistic style of Honiton lace in a contemporary textile piece.

Formed in crochet, Sarah has drawn inspiration from popular hedgerow flowers and foliage as well as rarer plant and insect species found in the Blackdown Hills. At four times life size, dog roses, honeysuckle, wild strawberries, ferns, bee orchids and the rare marsh fritillary butterfly intertwine.

Sited outdoors, in sunlight the overhead luminescent lace-like patterns play with the relationship between light and shadow on the ground beneath, in effect 'imprinting' the viewer. So as to further explore the sense of atmosphere that the canopied space creates, at night LED lights woven into the flowers and foliage can be illuminated through the use of interactive kinetic power.

Artist Statement

The New Eyes project has provided me with a fantastic opportunity to create my first large scale commissioned textile piece. I hope in this artwork to convey the beauty, intricacy and fragility of Honiton lace using alternative materials and a contemporary approach.

Only after devising and making the various motifs did I realise that I had chosen floral species that flower at the same time, around late May and early June. This seasonal timing has exactly coincided with the birth of my first child and has for me imbued this work with further significance, the celebration of natures’ cycles and creation of life.

My hope is that this New Eyes commission will raise my artist profile and become a springboard for me to show this artwork and other textile pieces in further exhibitions.

Artist Biog

Sarah’s fascination with textiles began at an early age when taught to knit and crochet by her grandmother. After studying Medieval Art theory at Exeter University Sarah rediscovered her passion for creating as well as theorising. Having had no art schooling, Sarah completed an Art Foundation NVQ at Exeter College and subsequently worked within a commercial weaving business in the Blackdown Hills. Later on she gained valuable experience working at Dartington College of Arts where she helped raise awareness of the creative industries in the South West and strived to improve artists’ entrepreneurial skills. In Spring 2006 Sarah decided to launch herself fully into her creative practice. Since then Sarah has been undertaking commissions for her textile, photographic and willow sculpting work. Sarah is currently embarking on making a series of LED lit wire sculptures for indoor and outdoor use.

I would greatly welcome your thoughts on this artwork and any ideas you may have as to where and whom to approach to further exhibit my canopy. Please contact me at or phone 01392 882165. Many thanks!

Jez Heeler

Sculptor Jez Heeler is constructing a series of large scale willow works that are being placing into the countryside at Gorens Farm, Stockland. He is interested in seeing how these sculpture decay over time and return to that landscape.

The images here show some of his prototypes.

Gordon Field, Elisabeth Rapp & Tom Harrington

Artist Gordon Field, writer Elisabeth Rapp and artist Tom Harrington are creating an animated film about the legends of Castle Neroche. The 'Men of Corfe' is their first exploration. Working with Blagdon Hill Primary School they have created the following possible 'actors'.

Bronwen Gundry

Bronwen Gundry is a painter and also makes monoprints. Her paintings contain ambiguous images which refer to archetypal or organic forms within a colourfield. The ambiguous forms in her monoprints are often suggestive of museum specimens or artefacts. She likes the method of monoprinting as it allows for a directness of working, similar to painting and each print is original.

For her the ‘New Eyes’ commission has involved placing her usual working materials of canvas and scrim in specific sites within the landscape and allowing nature to work on them over a period of time. Digitally recording these changes on a regular basis has been essential before working with the results back in her studio.

For more info on the artist click on