Speaking To Trees is an exploration of wood by emerging contemporary artists and designers, curated and presented by Ruup & Form. The exhibition delves into the diverse interactions the makers have with their material of choice- wood, the organic exchange of ideas between the material and the maker. Featured makers include - Hannah Lobley (Derbyshire, UK), Jayne Armstrong (Cornwall, UK and France), Darren Appiagyei (London, UK), Ralph Shuttleworth (West Yorkshire, UK) and Robert George (Northamptonshire, UK)
The makers bought together for the exhibition combine contemporary with the traditional. The sculptures are organic taking inspiration from the natural world.
Hannah Lobley combines two materials, paper and wood to create her inviting tactile sculptures. Hannah has created the series Conical Strata for London Design Festival 2020. The inspiration behind the sculpture is her fascination for the shapes at the English coast, these rockpool inspired objects combine the beauty of nature. She says, “The colour and textures are a response from the original materials, creating a bespoke and intriguing range.”
Woodturner artist and sculptor, Ralph Shuttleworth, showcases The Warped Collection. Ralph creates work as a collaboration between natural processes and human involvement in order to create sculptures with a clean yet organic feel. Ralph says about the sculptures. “The Warped Collection focuses on the natural tension within a piece of wood and how it can influence the final form. Each piece is created from a single block of wood which has deep slots cut in on a lathe, to allow the wood to move during the lengthy drying process, as it transitions from a living tree to dry timber.” The balance between the wood's free movement and Ralph's intervention creates organic undulations, which express the structural tension within the wood, caused by its growth and drying process.
The Concentrica and Platanus collection by Robert George are a series inspired the wood itself. The Concentricaseries by the saprophytic fungi forming on dead wood and The Platanus from Sycamore.
About the Concentrica series, Robert explains, “The Concentrica series is a group of pieces inspired by a particular saprophytic fungus forming on dead wood. Once cracked open, the fungi reveal distinct light and dark rings forming in a concentric pattern emanating from its centre- humbling in its uniformity and measured approach to the slow restructuring of ligneous matter into nutrients for the woodland floor. The different pieces, be it scorched Oak or whitened Holly will all succumb to this re-ordering in a manner which will be invisible to the human eye.”
Living and working from France, Jayne Armstrong works with a range of woods. Jayne's practice is strongly informed by her academic background in Cultural Studies. In her working process, concepts become another tool to work with and each piece takes shape at the interface between concept, material and technique. Working with locally sourced wood is important to Jayne.
Jayne also works in seasoned wood to create unique and distinctive sculptural forms as well sources
Darren Appiagyei will showcase his Banksia Wood vessels. His practise is simple – he embraces the intrinsic beauty of the wood, be a knot, crack, bark or grain . As a craftsman Darren has a passion filled with discovering and exploring new woods and is highly inspired by Ghanaian wood.
About Ruup & Form
Ruup & Form is a carefully curated collection of effortless aesthetics, simple luxuries and unique contemporary objects, working with artists and makers from across a wide spectrum. We are a platform for makers to showcase their narrative to a wider audience.
Collaborate. Commission. Collect.
About London Design Festival
Established in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell CBE and Ben Evans CBE, London Design Festival celebrates and promotes London as the design capital of the world. London Design Festival has since earned the reputation as a key calendar moment of London’s autumn creative season, alongside London Fashion Week, Frieze Art Fair and the London Film Festival, attracting the greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to the capital, in a citywide celebration.