The Nature of Metal
From: 05/05/2012 To: 01/07/2012 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Logan Botanic Garden, Port Logan, Stranraer, Dumfries & Galloway
A new exhibition of art in metal by Malta-based artist Jackie Roberts comes to the Rhins of Galloway this spring and summer.
The Nature of Metal reflects elements of the character and diversity of Logan. At the same time, it evokes the influences and inspiration taken by the artist from the landscapes of the Mediterranean, Scotland, Africa and New Zealand.
Running in the Logan studio until Sunday, July 1, the Nature of Metal is vivid a showcase for this award-winning artist who, in a former career, was the first press officer to be employed by Logan’s parent organisation, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE).
Other pieces include two wall-mounted sculptures formed from an old copper water tank, originally manufactured in Scotland and transported to Gozo. One, Burr Shield, is inspired by burrs on a huge multi-stemmed Douglas Fir growing at Dawyck, Logan’s sister Botanic Garden, near Peebles, in the Scottish Borders. Threads, created from weaving metal and plant material, is inspired by the natural threads in palm trees and mohair tweed by Borders textile designer Bernat Klein. Palm Ladders, are based on observations of the palm trees in the garden behind her Gozo workshop.
Explaining the aspirations behind the exhibition, which includes new pieces made especially for Logan, Jackie said: “I’m inspired by the landscapes of my mind and the natural world, particularly the sea; cultural symbolism and modernist design. I often use recycled metal, scrap, found objects and plant material in my work; reincarnating what other people have discarded.
“Landscapes and semi-abstract works involve mark-making and layering contrasting colour and texture to interpret landscape, nature and light. There are sculptural forms inspired by what I see in the plants and trees around me; sometimes physically incorporating plant material. I enjoy making ‘Critters’, which are creature creations – lizards, owls, marine life, cats - some realistic, others fanciful or stylised. I have included in the exhibition some examples of the marine life in metal I have become well known for in Malta - squid, dolphins and flying fish”.
Delighted by the response to her first showing at Dawyck earlier this year, the artist added that she was looking forward to staging a selection of works at Logan.
“Some of my influences have been the flora and fauna of the Mediterranean island of Gozo and of New Zealand so it will be interesting to discover some of the same plants growing at Logan in Scotland”, she commented. “Professionally, this has been a wonderful opportunity to exhibit overseas and build my reputation internationally. I hope to be invited to exhibit in Scotland again in the future. The inspiration I have gained from working at Logan and Dawyck will continue to exist in my metalwork in the years to come”.
Particular thanks go to The Ministry for Gozo and Malta Tourism Authority. Without their financial support, the staging of this exhibition would not have been possible. In addition, the exhibition also showcases work by two other Gozo designer/makers with whom she often collaborates: Pat Holtom (woven textiles) and Rachel Robinson (silver jewellery).
Jackie Roberts was born in Castleford, West Yorkshire, but spent 18 years in Scotland before moving permanently to the Maltese island of Gozo, in 2001. She is now part of the community of foreign and local artists and craftspeople who live on this small, tranquil island. In Scotland, Jackie learned artistic metalwork with the Arcangels group at Edinburgh’s Telford College from, 1998 to 2000; pursuing her passion for metal after a professional career in environmental education, public and media relations, international community development and arts administration. She was the first Press Officer at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and worked there from 1990-1995.
Since Jackie’s first solo exhibition, Go Fish, in 2007, she has collaborated in six successful group exhibitions and contributed work to numerous collective exhibitions in Malta and Gozo. In 2011 Jackie was awarded a prize by the Malta Crafts Council for innovation and creativity.
Image credit Jonathan Slater
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