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In the Thick of It - Laura Ellen Bacon

In the Thick of It

The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre, Winchester
Silver Birch and Black Maul willow

‘In the Thick of It: A Woven Space’ used Somerset willow and also silver birch, which was cut en-masse as part of heathland conservation in Hampshire, near to the gallery space.

“Much of my woven work is built on site, entwined into buildings, trees or other structures. I often create my forms from the inside out, which results in forms that are smooth on the outside, with an unseen, chaotic and frenzied interior that supports the surface texture.

By constructing this work, I wanted to turn my forms ‘inside out’ and allow the requirements of the structure to be visible on the exterior, while the experience of the internal space is revealed. My first study of such a ‘woven space’ was created at Chatsworth in 2009 and subsequently Into the Weave in 2010 at Derby Museum and Art Gallery and this project is a direct development of those studies.

The silver birch entered the gallery first into which the willow forms were then ‘burrowed’ into to create roughly-hewn but smooth spaces. The focus is entirely on the internal spaces, all of which can be entered. The wonderful aroma of some 30,000 willow sticks and huge volume of freshly cut silver birch embraces the visitor as soon as the gallery door is opened.”