Category Archives: artSOUTH at Mottisfont

artSOUTH provided a welcome opportunity to make ‘Resuscitare’ for Mottisfont. This particular site resonates with my practice so well, and it has been an ambition of mine for some time to make a work here. Collaborating on and sharing the creative process with staff and volunteers at Mottisfont has brought a very exciting new dimension to my working practice, in particular surrendering the design patterns, taken from the Whistler room, to the fantastic conservation people. The project would not have happened without the knowledge and experience of John Surplice, the collaboration of the House Conservation Team on the design and gilding and the management of the installation process by the Countryside and Gardens Teams.
Resuscitare is part of artSOUTH: collaborations


My work Resuscitare at Mottisfont has an extended presentation and could be visited daily from 10am to 5pm.

Mottisfont – beech circle

Doing the gilding outside on the Beech Circle was an interesting task. The wind was a bit of a problem. By the time we organised and put some covers the direction of the wind would change, it was an interesting game… we had to work and gild fast and try not to loose to much gold….

Patterns developed by the conservation team and volunteers, from detailed elements taken from the Whistler room, and transferred onto the living living and fallen trees. The patterns on the beech circle where gilded using dutch metal and the patterns on the fallen trees gilded using 23.5 ct gold leaf.

Mottisfont – install

Although there were some concerns if the trees, with its heavy tops, will stand up by themselves, the installation at Mottisfont when very smoothly. Just gets to show you once you have the right equipment and machinery everything is possible…..

Mottisfont – wood yard

The trees which John Surplice and me selected where moved by David Chase to the wood yard at Mottisfont. Within a week me and John with the help from Estate staff and volunteers had the trees prepared and ready for gilding.

Mottisfont – workshop

A days workshop with conservation team and volunteers in the “Shator”, learning the process of gilding.

Mottisfont – choosing the trees

Myself and John Surplice walking at Mottisfont Estate looking for fallen trees. The ancient woodlands are over 400 years old and in a semi-natural state due to man’s interventions. There are amazing estate walks that takes between 2 and 4 hours.

Mottisfont Abbey

I have been selected to develop new site-specific work for the artSOUTH project at Mottisfont Abbey. I will be working in partnership with valued retired staff member John Surplice and this project will take place in consultation with Forestry Commission conservation staff, Mottisfont Estate staff and the Art Office at Test Valley District Council.

Employing nature as both subject and medium, these ambitious and poignant contemporary art installations will offer a poetic rupture in the grounds of Mottisfont Abbey and beyond. The work will encourage visitors to view the past in a new way, and will highlight the sensitive balance at play between present, past and future. As such, in addition to the creation of visually striking interventions, these pieces will also deepen engagement with and appreciation of the rich historical and cultural heritage of Mottisfont Abbey.

The aims of the artSOUTH projects are to instigate engaging and innovative collaborative commissions of the highest quality, for indoor and outdoor non-gallery locations across central southern England in Autumn 2013.

artSOUTH has developed from the ambition of several key contemporary art venues in the wider Hampshire area to work in partnership, combined with the commitment of Hampshire County Council for Hampshire to be recognised as a county where people of all ages have the opportunity to experience high quality contemporary visual art in a variety of distinctive settings and to encourage a vibrant and active artist community and a diverse and engaged audience.

The partnership currently consists of 15 organisations, including local authorities, universities, art schools and independent arts organisations.