Spring Fling Sculptors – Shadows Inspire Elegant Female Bronzes

With Spring Fling just around the corner artists and makers across Dumfries and Galloway are preparing their studios for thousands of visitors.

Among them is Jennifer Watt, who is based at Burnhead, near Thornhill, and is one of five sculptors in this year’s open studios weekend, which takes place from 27 to 29 May.

Jennifer is nationally known for her elegant bronze and resin figures, many of which celebrate women and motherhood.

A wide variety of works will be displayed in her studio and garden situated at the edge of the small, picturesque southern Scottish village where she and her husband Cameron have lived for 15 years.

She said: “I have always been inspired by the role of women and by motherhood, and the moments of intimacy and happiness there are between mother and child.”

Her distinctive style developed after winning a Royal Glasgow Institute prize which involved going to France. While there she became fascinated by human shadows.

“I started to take photographs of people’s shadows, and really noticed how they reduce their forms to such an elegant simplicity,” she said.

Jennifer’s sculptures, which can be found in homes and gardens across the UK and far beyond, can each take two months to design and create. After the initial sketches she creates an armature from metal rods.

This “skeleton” is the covered in clay and a mould is created for the resin or the molten bronze. Once the casting is complete the sculpture is patinated to achieve the desired final texture and colour.

Jennifer’s figures are highly stylised and often tall and slender, with the women frequently wearing the small hat which is a trademark of her work.

The other sculptors taking part are:

  • Adam Booth, Kirkpatrick Durham: Holder of the title “Eminent Master Blacksmith”, Adam uses traditional and modern techniques to individually designed hot forged metalwork for sculptural and architectural works.
  • Ian Cameron-Smith, Kirkcudbright: Creator of beautiful sculptures that can be found in many places including at the Annandale Distillery.
  • Mark Gibbs, from Carlisle who will exhibit at Solway House, the Crichton, Dumfries: Remarkable sculptures of people, animals and ships that resemble ritual artefacts. His work is influenced by archaeology.
  • Trevor Leat, Auchencairn, Castle Douglas: One of the best-known willow workers in the UK. Trevor’s sculptures range from small abstract and animal creations to the huge figures burned at festivals including Wickerman.

The sculptors are among 93 artists and makers taking part in the 15th anniversary Spring Fling.

Joanna Macaulay, Events and Exhibitions Manager for Upland Arts Development, which runs Spring Fling, said: “The sheer variety of visual art and craft in this year’s event is enormous. The range of work by the sculptors taking part really emphasises not just the diversity but the impressive quality that visitors can expect.”

For full details of everyone taking part in Spring Fling see the website HERE

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