Updated: Aug 28, 2018
The Art Wave festival for artists and makers in the Lewes district included a lovely nature walk with artist Jacky Misson and Thyone Outram the Ranger from Lewes District Council to walk, see, find and create in the Bollen Bush nature reserve.
Although the emphasis of the walk was to look at the colours and shapes around us, as a group we also learnt about the beautiful woods - small pockets of the Bollen Bush trees indicate ancient woodland (though this can't be verified from map records) and Thyone explained some of the science of photosynthesis and how nature reveals colour as well as how we actually see it.
Jacky encouraged us in our first creative exercise to sit and sketch the smallest details of a chosen leaf, it helped to focus the mind and be mindful of our surroundings (we used some wonderful small sketchbooks crafted with recycled materials and donated by a local company called Artbox). Then as we walked we chose certain colours from the nature finds around us, after slowly climbing up the hillside we came to a spot where we could all add to a colour wheel placed on the ground in collage (as shown above), and without prior coordination we completed a striking circle of colour:
After rising through the woodland we came to a wonderful vista looking out towards the Southdowns and Newhaven, it was inspiring!
We entered the upper part of the woods and as a final response to our walk and Jacky's suggestions we created natural artworks from twigs, leaves, plants, stones, (some even included litter). Here are just a few of the beautiful pieces, apologies I can't apply maker's names to them:
My piece wrapped against a tree was made by placing each twig, log or piece of moss in balance, without any fixings other than gravity, I imagine the next strong wind will rearrange it:
I hope this lovely event also inspires you to take some time in a local nature reserve or pocket of natural habitat and be re-charged.
For further Art Wave information:
And more on Bollens Bush in East Sussex, UK:
Although not recent, one of my favourite books on photosynthesis and how plants do their amazing job: 'Reaching for the Sun how plants work' by John King (Cambridge University Press, 1997).
Jacky Misson who led our creative endeavours can be found at Glynde Gardens Open Studio during the Art Wave festival: