The ubiquitous pigeon was the starting point for these bird studies. The theme encompasses evolution, organic forms, group behaviour, response to landscape, and patterns in nature.
Metallic Ponti bird with incised detail.
Group of five Binary Birds
White Ponti birds
Contrasting rough with smooth, light with dark, angular with round. My vessels result from experiments in form and surface texture, pattern and composition.
Textured stoneware and porcelain pots
Collection for Modern Art Hire
Interlinking hand built Pentacle sculptures
Fjord vessel, handbuilt stoneware
Star gourds hand built in stoneware and porcelain
In celebration of the overlooked. The hand that we use to communicate, collaborate, manipulate, caress, grasp, fix, make, measure, sense and interact with. The palm and fingerprint are a map of our individual identity, illustrated by the material of clay and the process of hand-building.
Delta, Crescent and Venule
Flock project aims to inspire people to think about refugees within the wider context of migration and the meaning of community.
The project became a collaboration with the Grounding Project, which is funded by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and the Maudsley Charity. Artist Julie Nelson has been leading a number of clay bird-making sessions at Roots and Shoots in Kennington, London, with group members who have overcome adversity on their journey to the UK and who use the community garden to help with their recovery from trauma. The aim was to provide participants with an opportunity to create birds which will contribute to a collaborative installation composed of over 200 others which we exhibited together at The Project Space, at Lewisham Arthouse, from the 4-15th September 2019.
We were also awarded a grant from University College London (UCL) Grand Challenges to explore the impact of the non-clinical clay workshops on the wellbeing and mental healthcare of group members who attend the project. Julie Nelson has collaborated with the team from the Maudsley; Dr Gemma Eke, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Myriam Sarens, Psychotherapist and Horticultural Therapist, Helen Shearn, art manager, together with academic researchers from UCL, Dr Humera Iqbal, Lecturer in Psychology, Professor Helen Chatterjee, MBE, and Dr Katie Quy, clinical psychologist.
Thanks to Counterpoints Arts, the group ran 3 workshops on 16th June at the V & A Museum in London for the launch of Refugee Week with members of the Grounding Project.
I would like to thank Hesketh Pottery, Seaford, for the generous donation of clay for this project. Also ceramic artists Lucy Smith and Emily Stappleton-Jefferis for donating their skills and time.
To empower the lives of those who have overcome adversity and experienced trauma, through the medium of clay.
Clay workshops that allow participants to conceptualise their individual journeys using the metaphor of birds.
To exhibit the birds together as one artwork, with ceramics made by service users alongside those made by professional artists and the V & A workshop attendees, exhibiting in museums and galleries to reach a wider audience.
To engage the public and foster greater understanding and acceptance by highlighting the underlying themes of displacement, migration, identity, community and integration.
Help participants to feel part of a positive and creative larger community.
To engage with nature and the environment.
To learn more about the importance of birds.
Manifest the idea of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
To archive the stories and responses of those taking part.
Flock is an installation of many hand made ceramic birds by artist Julie Nelson.
The work was originally conceived for and exhibited in an elegant Edwardian house on Grand Avenue, Hove, UK. The city has a strong and sometimes uneasy relationship with birds, from the murmurations of the Pier's starlings, to the constant sound of seagulls that share the built environment.
Flock subsequently settled in a 14th century monastery, in the historic town on Rye for its annual festival.
The installation is not intended to be political, but visitors will take away from it as much cultural and sociological significance that they bring to it. Some may see themes of displacement, migration, national identity and what it means to be part of a community. For others the work will have cinematic undertones.
Flock has evolved to inspire a community project created with the permission of refugees settled in the UK. Please see www.flockproject.co.uk to see how it has grown.
Flock at Grand Avenue, Hove
Flock at Rye Monastery
Flock at Rye Monastery
An evocative interpretation of Flock by film maker Camille Griffin in the atmospheric setting of Alex Macarthur’s 14th century monastery in Rye.
Collections of objects, made and found, used as reference and inspiration. The seeds of ideas.
Nelson sculptural ceramic lamps for the UK and abroad.