Tuesday 19 September 2023

Bridget Bailey & The Secret Life of Hedgerows - Danby Lodge, North York Moors National Park

Bridget Bailey - Life on the Hedge

The Secret Life of Hedgerows, featuring the work of 9 artists, is the current exhibition at the Inspired by... gallery at Danby Lodge National Park Centre. Hedgerows, as well as the fauna and flora they support, are depicted in textiles, ceramics, print and more and the aim is to draw attention to these important features of the British landscape.

Bridget Bailey - Life on the Hedge (detail)

My reason for heading over to this exhibition was because I had seen that Bridget Bailey was exhibiting.  I love Bridget's work.  She grew up in North Yorkshire and still has family in the area although she now lives in London.  She studied textiles and began her career making sculptural headpieces and now uses those techniques and other methods of experimental making, including fly tying and the incorporation of found materials, to interpret nature inspired by her allotment.  After a Moors study day in May, exploring hedgerows and their associated wildlife and asking questions of the experts, Bridget came up with "Life on the Hedge" which represents a hedgerow population of wire flora and fauna, silk caterpillar, worms, thread insects, feather and velvet moths all living on fallen branches arranged to suggest a cut and lay hedge.  There's alot to look at and take in.  Those moths and worms are quite amazing...

Bridget Bailey - Life on the Hedge (detail)
Feather & Velvet Moths

Bridget Bailey - Life on the Hedge (detail)

Every time you look you spot something else and whether you love what you see or not (the worms are rather grossly realistic) - it's fascinating.  I also loved Bridget's Hedgerow Bouquets...

Bridget Bailey - Hedgerow Bouquets

especially the Knapweed...

Bridget Bailey - Hedgerow Bouquet (detail)

I was sorry I couldn't make the Knapweed Flower Workshop that Bridget was running.

Of course Bridget wasn't the only artist exhibiting.  Other artists that caught my eye were Jacqui Atkin with her ceramic vessels depicting birds...

Jacqui Atkin - Winter Chaffinches & Robin

Sarah Morpeth, a paper and book artist, was inspired by the number of organisms, especially insects, supported by the hawthorn to make pieces to celebrate that abundance.  The way hedgerows explode with life, inspired the forms and colours in this work...

Sarah Morpeth - Abundance 1 (detail)

Laura Murphy's ceramics are inspired by markings or movement.  Here the markings of field cuckoo bumblebee are represented and the flitting back and forth of the blue tits from their nest.

Laura Murphy - Field Cuckoo Bumblebee Wide Vessel

Laura Murphy - Blue Tit Flight Vessels

Sally Sommerville-Woodiwis, an ecologically inspired artist explored the differences between what might be found under a hedge and a fence.  Here this is explored through the medium of a collage of natural materials...

Sally Sommerville-Woodiwis - As above so below, fence

In the studio there was a further exhibition of artists such as Lesley Birch...

Lesley Birch - Stormy Day

and Ian Burke...

Ian Burke - Redcar Double Ender

and lots more.  So why not take a trip to Danby Lodge, which is about half an hours drive from Whitby or Kirbymoorside....

Danby Lodge National Park Centre

There's also a cafe where you can enjoy a proper brew...

plus a children's play area, picnic tables, car parking, a bookshop and walks aplenty.

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