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Caroline Sharp

Unearthed 2023

Caroline makes both woven and clay and wood sculptures which are strongly influenced by natural form, containment and movement. They are in essence about latent and potential energy; energy within the soil and earth transformed within seeds and the emerging growth.

 

The woven forms are based on organic seedpod forms and the importance of respecting the character and properties of the materials used is paramount. The tips of the stem, the catkins and buds are left exposed to suggest fragility and transience. The process of weaving woods has always been a form of meditation to Caroline and the process and joys of slow making are increasingly important to her. The coppiced stems used are mainly birch, willow, dogwood, hazel and white poplar. 

Recurring themes in Caroline’s work include explorations into ideas of geological layers,

land and form which were initiated after a commission along the Wessex Ridgeway in 2008. The idea of land suggesting and sometimes revealing what is underneath is translated using natural materials such as clay, chalk, stems and leaves.

Current explorations have involved the use of both clay and wood in creating abstract sculptural forms suggestive of seeds emerging from the earth. The added stems suggest sprouting, green shoots and windblown aids to dispersal. The materials used include stoneware clay; local clay slips; willow and birch ash glazes and a variety of coppiced stems. 

Caroline’s practice has always been about her connection to nature’s seasonal shifts and the pandemic has further heightened and reinforced her sustainable approach. Her making is slow, seasonal and meditative: - the growing and gathering of coppiced material; the weaving of layers; the hand coiling of the clay. 

Recent exhibitions have included with Make Hauser & Wirth, Somerset 2019; Collect London with Contemporary Applied Arts at the Saatchi Gallery 2019; and Crop, Crafted Collectables, Broken Beauty at Collect, and Outside In all with Sarah Myerscough Gallery London 2019- 2021; and Collect London with The New Craftsmen Gallery, London 2023. Most recent solo exhibition was land-line-form held at The Crafts Study Centre, UCA, Farnham in 2014. 

In 2010 several pieces were purchased for the public collection at the Wellbeing Centre, Bournemouth University, Dorset. 

Professional memberships include Contemporary Applied Arts London, Make South West, Axis, Dorset Visual Arts, Making Dorset, Landscape Institute. 

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