Hart of the Wood 'Ways of the Plant'
After the success of the Hart of the Wood project at NT Dudmaston’s Comer Woods, in June 2020,I was successful with another Arts Council bid, to continue this body of work. HOTW ‘Ways of the Plant’, was made with the support from ACE, Lapworth Museum of Geology, ART DOCS and the UNESCO Black Country Geopark, to create an exhibition with expanded film performance. I worked with the Hart of the Wood artist collective group (Nathaniel Mann, Stephen Jon Cooper, Martin Sommerville) and responded to the extensive Carboniferous fossil collections at the Lapworth. The project interweaves myth, mask, 16mm film and folklore; that is inspired by the Carboniferous, imbued with folksong, forged by the blacksmith - in an experimental documentary with live performance.
The exhibition is made up of hand-crafted photographic prints, etchings, drawings, sculptural work, that form elements within a new major artist film work. This is the first work in a triptych of films entitled ‘Hart of the Wood’. The project involved community workshops lead by artists in sound, metalwork, mask making. The results from these workshops have forged new HOTW creative collaborations and have become key elements within the film work.
Quote from Frank (workshop participant)
“I am now registered severely sight impaired and would never have got up in the morning expecting to be able to use an angle grinder, plasma cutter or arc welding equipment due to my needs and abilities. I arrived expecting to have to sit out most of the program of activity and maybe if I was lucky, to get to hit something with a hammer. Luke and Ben from the very start gave me the confidence, acceptance and assistance I needed to play a fully inclusive role along side every other able bodied participant, to the point that I feel quite emotional now, just writing these words of thanks. For me, it was a very special day that I will remember for ever.”
The exhibition is on display until December 20th 2023. The film will begin looking to festivals for screenings in 2024.