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As our current exhibition Cultivation: Points of Vantage comes to an end, we ask John Newling about his work and what interests him about Hestercombe.
Where do you create your work and what’s your inspiration?
I create my work in Nottingham, and I’m inspired by human relationships to the natural ecology and the possibility of such relationships, informing socially engaged activities and work.
Value; Coin, Note and Eclipse, Mixed Media, 2011
Tell us about your latest work as part of Cultivation: Points of Vantage.
My piece entitled Value; Coin, Note and Eclipse emerged from the overarching project ‘From a Garden of Walking Sticks’ (2011-2012). Value; Coin, Note and Eclipse weaves an ecology of value that eclipses currency through the material agency of the leaves from 120 Jersey Kale plants germinated and grown in our garden. The work seeks to map or narrate ecologies of value, seeking to review our relationship with nature and culture
In my work From a Garden of Walking Sticks (2011-2012) Jersey Kale (walking stick cabbages) the act of gardening attempts to restore a set of values to materiality. In gardening we live within the authority of nature and experience its immanent vitality in the emerging complexity of Life. The Garden of walking sticks imagines a space for a creative dialogue between ecology and aesthetics; germinated from the seeds of practical experience the artwork evolved as my relationship with the plants matured.
I see ‘From a Garden of Walking Sticks’ as a poetic monument for an emerging social ecology.
What's your favourite gallery to visit?
Nottingham Contemporary amongst many other great spaces.
John Newling working in Dieppe
What interests you about Hestercombe?
For the last decade or so I have been developing a relationship between me and my garden as generator of my practice. I do consider my garden as a both a place where I learn and observe and a studio where works are developed. For many years I have been occupied by the language that nature has shown me through my work. I believe walking in a garden full of amazing colours and shapes is a shared sense for many people where close observations form a kind of natural language. It is with and from this language that many of my works have evolved. This is, partially, why I am interested in Hestercombe.
John’s work appears beside that of Anna Barriball, George Shaw, John Brown, Mariele Neudecker, Mary Griffiths, Mary McIntyre and Mikhail Karikis in Cultivation: Points of Vantage, at the Hestercombe Gallery until 1 July.
The Hestercombe Gallery is open daily from 11am-5pm.