Creatures Great and Small – Exhibition at 45 Southside, 8th April to 23rd May 2017
At one time or another we have all had our hearts touched by furry or feathered friends. And so have our talented artists. Gwen Vaughan and Tracey Benton together with 45 Southside continues its series of exhibitions. Both artist are well known for their humorous and collectable work.
Tracey Benton is predominantly felt making and her favourite subject is our native wildlife, such as hares, foxes and more recently bees. Each piece takes hours of precise needle felting which gives them their shape. In the last stage she adds the defining features of the face, forming each creatures individual and adorable character.
Gwen Vaughan a ceramic artist is equally captivated by creatures great and small. Her quirky animals are captured with minimalistic features nevertheless they are very recognisable species. For her latest range she created cashmere jumpers for her figurines, making them softer to the touch. There are polar bears, whales, foxes, badgers, owls, dogs and of course little birds. Each of her creatures cleverly conveys a element of the nature of each animal. Gwen’s wolf in a sheep’s coat is a beautiful example.
The exhibition will run from 8th April to 23rd May 2017. The opening view will be held on Saturday 8th April from 3pm to 6pm, all are welcome.
Tracey Benton and her lovely felt sculptures are new to 45 Southside and already very popular.
Tracey spent many years studying and exploring ceramics, but the moment she started experimenting with wool, she was hooked. It’s a lovely natural material to work with and she is particularly drawn to its textural and sculptural qualities.
Tracey uses a process called needle felting (also known as dry felting) to create her birds and beasts. She uses a special needle with tiny notches that catches and binds the fibres together. Each piece is sculpted by hand and takes several hours to make. Details are added to the work using embroidery and beads. Her pieces are displayed on handmade ceramic bases ensuring each piece is truly unique.
Tracey draws her inspiration from the natural world around her: birds twittering at the bottom of the garden or a cheeky fox crossing her path when she is out walking the dog near her home in North Devon.