Over the Christmas period, Jerwood Gallery’s courtyard is exhibiting a stunning installation which brings a warm glow of light to these short, dark days. The artists Heywood & Condie have created a piece of sculptural architecture consisting of a greenhouse constructed from 18th and 19th Century stained glass. The Christian imagery has been dismantled and reused to present a world of chimeras, mythical creatures and folkloric hybrids.
Part plant/part human/part insect, these creatures combine to suggest a more primitive world. The walls are adorned with symbols and patterns which humans have used for thousands of years to celebrate the cycle of life. A digital folkloric spirit inhabits the space, symbolising the act of gardening as a transcendent activity.
Limelight: The Gardener is a horticultural temple – a metaphor for the living Earth and a place of sanctuary and introspection. It represents an environment in which nature holds an elevated position. It is through daily rituals of watering, sowing and feeding, that The Gardener may achieve a deeper understanding of his or her place in the world.
The nurture and care of nature fosters hope, faith and responsibility and, through these emotions, The Gardener learns to experience a sense of wonder and a heightened physical engagement with the external world.
Tony Heywood and Alison Condie describe their work as ‘horticultural installation art’. Their area of interest principally concerns new ways of engaging with and representing landscape and nature.The combination of Heywood’s background in horticulture and anthropology and Condie’s in botany and zoology has resulted in the formulation of a unique series of art works, which are often hard to classify.Their practice crosses many genres including land art, sculpture, horticulture, painting, video and performance and individual works can often synthesize elements from all of these disciplines in their final realization.Their works have been shown both nationally and internationally and vary in scale from large-scale public commissions covering many acres to smaller gallery-based work including micro landscapes in petri dishes.
Image: Heywood & Condie, 2015. Courtesy the artist and Jerwood Gallery
Until 3 January Jerwood Gallery Rock-a-Nore Road Hastings Old Town East Sussex