We are looking for contacts, local community groups, interested individuals, routes into funding, places to exhibit, support, volunteers, publicity and people to network with in order to develop our projects.
Please contact us by emailing milesanddacombe@virginmedia.com.

Friday, 9 March 2012

INTENZ at Corby Open

During March we took part in the first Corby Open Exhibition in the Old Library. Artist Phiona Richards has written a lively, comprehensive post describing how the exhibition came about which you can read here.  The Old Library is a wonderful space and there are many artists working towards making it a more permanent Gallery and Studio Spaces. We decided to enter a variation of our installation INTENZ called Conurbation which utilised the big triangles and three sets of smaller triangles.

INTENZ was originally created as part of our project Fingerprints on the Pew and in response to the architecture of St Peter and St Andrews Church in Beanfield Avenue, near our studios. It is a portable sculpture which can be moved and changed, creating many different permutations. INTENZ has already appeared at a number of sites in a variety of configurations.

Parents and children making sculptures
at the Boating Lake in Corby

During the Festival of Christmas trees 
at St Peter and St Andrews Church

At York Minster

Now we had a new venue, at the Corby Open, to arrange our adaptable sculpture. Setting up was quite eventful as we had been allocated a space to be shared with artists with films to project. It was a tight squeeze and took several hours to install but we were helped and encouraged by one of the exhibition volunteers, Nick, a landscape designer who completely understood and enjoyed the flexible nature of the sculpture and its exploration of space. Nick spent several hours with us, playing with the permutations of the sculpture's structural possibilities, and relating it to his own thoughts about garden structures.

We were just about to tackle the lighting when it was all change! The space was also going to be used for a poetry reading during the Private View and the other artists felt the installation would block the flow of people through the room. We were left in a bit of a quandary as we had been allocated the space and couldn't immediately see where we could move to.

After investigating other spaces and making a flurry of phone calls, we set about dismantling the installation, moving furniture and reassembling everything in a completely different configuration in another room! Again the space was quite tight, there was no room for people to interact with the sculpture as we had originally intended and there was definitely no flow through.

In many ways the space was challenging to use and the results not completely to our satisfaction, but we wanted to add our support to this new venture in the heart of Corby. We rose to the challenge, this being another opportunity to reconfigure the installation once more to fit yet another space!

We were able to set up some of our small lights 
and darken down the room to create some dramatic effects.

Ann Leonard, who originally saw INTENZ at St Peter and St Andrews, and came to Corby Open, said "Loved Miles & Dacombe's installation, it gains new dimensions whenever I see it."

Here are a pair of visitors who decided to turn on the main lights to see what was in the room! Carole was at the gallery that day and invited them to make their own sculptures with the smaller triangles.

Although it had proved challenging to install INTENZ at the Corby Open, we once more had some great interactions with people who saw the work and had a chance to interact with the structural shapes. All the elements of INTENZ are made in the same proportions, an irregular tetrahedron, in a variety of sizes, from the very tiny to the huge! It is constantly fascinating just how many structural inventions can be made from the same elements and it was great fun to give the installation another outing!

Miles & Dacombe plus INTENZ can be hired to help your
school, gallery or group explore space, light and sculpture.
Further details available upon request.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Spring Forwards

Whilst scoping our second Kettering Light Walk and looking for a place to plant some living willow  we came across The Green Patch Community Allotments run by Groundwork a wonderful growing resource in the heart of the community. We approached Lucy Darby, who said they had received a commemorative bench, and that a willow half bower would work perfectly with the bench adding some gentle shade. We had planned to plant the willows as the culmination of our next walk, but the walk had to be postponed and we had already collected the willow. To grow willow from unrooted cuttings or whips, the willow should be cut and planted after leaf fall and before leaf bud - usually during December, January and February. We decided it was best to go ahead with the planting.
Nigel helped us dig a channel for the whips
We began by setting in the uprights, pushing the longest sturdiest whips about 6 inches into the ground vertically to make the main structure. It took quite a lot of effort as the ground was still compacted and quite dry due to the lack of rain we have had in February.
Tying in the front of the arch. 
Once the diagonal whips were in position we began to weave them into shape. The interwoven diagonals are for strength to create an open lattice interlinked  feature, the tension of the willow should generally hold the structure together.
We then replaced the clumps of soil and turf, then tried out the Bower for size!
Winter Aconites seen on our walk
Getting ready for some more Guerilla Gardening
We were so glad to have been out in the fresh air planting that when we were next together in our studios we began preparing a new batch of seed bombs to take on our Finedon Light Walk. The clay had gone hard and was about to be thrown away when Carole salvaged the bags and reconstituted them in a bucket of water. It was still quite tough to excavate from the bucket but we had more than enough for our purposes! 
Clay and wild flower seeds
shaped with cookie cutters.

Carole has been popping back to The Green Patch 
at regular intervals to check on our willow's progress.
Nigel has been keeping The Bower well watered,
paving slabs have been placed under the bench and 
there is a mulch of bark chips around the whips.
 Vertical whips sprouting fresh growth  from the top
Diagonally planted whips sprouting along the 
full length giving a denser growth to the structure
We ordered our willow from here 
Willows Nursery Walgrave 
Northampton  NN6  9QA