Saturday, October 22, 2011

Drawing onsite at the Millennium Seed Bank

NB: 9TH DEC, 2013:  Apologies for the missing photos which I've just discovered here. Will be attempting to repost this soon! Sophie Munns

These are a few of the drawings from the past week or so. Excuse the brevity of my notes whilst posting so late tonight!

This image I found in the libary and was drawn to it ... being a fossil seed image... a cupole that was imprinted in the rock and if from Devon, England (late devonian period).

A jacaranda seed that I was able to put nder the Microsope to see in great detail... The jacaranda tree was omnipresent in the town I grew up in... and even though it is from South America it was well loved and adopted as if a native.

Acorn 'cups' I found walking the grounds

this one  have yet to get the name of... below is the other end of the pod.

these I picked up in Cornwall...
From Mexico

From South Africa
native to tropical America

From Lebanon .. up close this was an intriguing structure.
Below is the drawing I did when it was under the Microscope.

I'll be posting more images when possible. Its been a fascinating week indeed!

NB: just found the images not there- 28th January 2013. Don't know what has happened... 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day Two at the Millennium Seed Bank

I arrived at Wakehusrt Place in West Sussex from London yesterday morning and was ushered to comfortable quarters to settle in for the 3 week stay. Meeting staff anmd other residencts was an interesting process and added much to the feeling of welcome and being able to get oriented quite quickly.

Ive taken lots of photos already but they are yet to be downloaded ... so this image introduces where I am ... the greehouse is actually located above the rooms where residents stay ... and these three scuptured seeds are by the artist Peter Randall Page whose woprk was also at the Eden Project. Well worth viewing his website as well.

Read an article from Marina Warner at the Guardian on this sculptor here. Its titled
Heart of Stone:  relying on natural forms – hives, spider webs, nautilus shells – Peter Randall-Page's sculptures are deeply connected to pleasure and the comfort of physical contact, finds Marina Warner.

Ive set up a studio in my room and have a table I can work on outside in a courtyard in the daytime as well. Plus I have an invitation to work in the labs which I look forward to once I get going. My contact person,  Wolfganf Stuppy has been wonderfully helpful. His books are on my desk for inspiration ... along with seed samples from the lab.

This is one of the books that Wolfgang Stuppy has produced for publisher Papadakis...  with artist Rob Kesseler. This book has a third contributer Madeline Harvey.

well... I#ve just created this post in the library on a PC and Imust say its been ages since \i used anything other than my Mac this has been a slow and clumsy effort.

Back soon as possible... hopefully with photos to share from this amazing place!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The 'Seed' at the Core ... Eden Project Day 3

... encouraging respect and duty to hope for the future!

This most perfect of forms is a huge sculpture made of local granite by Peter Randall Page for "The Core" building at the Eden Project. (click on his name and read from his website about realising this work).

This space was quiet yet had such a tangible energy field...the work sitting as it does enclosed pod-like within walls that cocoon one in the space with the work. It was hard not to feel a sense of being in a place where the kind of collective effort that once manifested in pyramids and cathedrals was in evidence once more... even if not in the way we think symbolises grandness. Only this time the God being honoured seemed to be earth and life itself.This is the central core of a project cathedral-like in its audacity and its potency as a symbol for the future.

I have long hoped to come to this place... so being here, after not travelling far these past 23 years, does feel like a privilege. I am finding it mysteriously difficult to comprehend all-at-once the enormity of the project... and at the core of The Core of this project is this symbol called 'Seed'.

On Monday Richard Good, Creative Catalyst at EP, took me on a guided tour of the Pit which is the Eden Project... with a special detour to view this work at the centre of the project in more ways than one! The centre of a magnificent building known as The Core ... designed on the basis of the Fibonaci principal sits this potent sculpture.

The Core building from left

Inside the core... photos from the website - see more.

I'm presently sitting in the Foundation building where many work who are involved in the shaping of the public programs and key messages one way or another. Hearing everyone work, the meetings that take place...the cross-pollination and complex cross-overs ... provides much food for thought. One hears of the many challenges as well as successes that feed into the ongoing evolution of this forward thinking project.

Step into the bathroom where Dyson hand driers 'scrape' one's hands dry and use a tiny half the energy normally used by similar machines. The colourful office layout...the lunch room serving good quality food... the fact the major public eating place inside the complex is a bakery where long benches located in the midst of the room reveal the process to all.

As I type I think of place I must head to see something not yet investigated. I did a lot of walking Monday and Tuesday as the weather was warm and mostly clear... now the sky is grey, rain intermittent and might need to find a brolly! Lunchtime aromas are calling me... so I'll be off for now!

Ive lots more photos to share so I will be back. I you want to catch the post on the artistic inspiration I found on the weekend at picturesque St ives go to the Studio Archive blog. I will try to keep up to date as it makes it much easier in the long run with my documentation... so much I don't want to forget!

PS:  read this website page for an enlightening story about the copper roof on the Core Building...

What is a responsible metals and minerals supply chain?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day One at the Eden Project

If you pop over and read my other blog it gives a brief outline of my trip to the UK so far.

Presently in Cornwall I have the week on site at the Eden Project to take in this amazing project.

I took so many photos today... but there is a limit to what I can download tonight sitting in the bar of the hotel I'm staying at next to an old harbour in Charlestown... not too far from the EP.

So...I have just skimmed through and resized these photos... Eden Project is even more impressive than I imagined it to be. 

Really I should have taken a shot of what is there now ... from a distance... but my day was spent touring the site with someone from the creative team responsible for the way the Project is presented to the public in terms of artistic/cultural interpretations. Now I have a good idea of what the week offers ... people to meet ...places to investigate.

This is from the Tropical Biodome... I spent quite some ime walking through this amazing space.

One place that was quite a focal point was the new bakery.... the site of the weeks Cornwall Food Festival. There were demos and talks happening.

I was blown away by the size of the space and the fact the bakers work at very long wooden tables at one end of the room...

The other end of the room is where food is available.

Painting with food colours... inks made from beetroot, spirulina, turmeric, chilli and such.

I spent the late afternoon in the Library in the Foundation building.... browsing through all the titles and wishing there was time for reading!

Its very late... I have many more photos...but this at least is an introduction. Stay tuned for more on this place.

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