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Romilly Saumarez Smith


Temporarily closed 21 Nov 2020 – 13 Feb 2021


In accordance with recent government guidance, Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset is temporarily closed and will reopen on 2 December 2020.

Acts of gathering and assembling often reveal the overlooked and unseen, the ordinary and extraordinary. Four artist makers, each with a distinct visual language, seek to retrieve traces and narratives in nature and landscape through material explorations. This deeply personal autumnal presentation features intimate works made from wood, paper, ceramic, precious jewels, metals and found objects. All works are for sale. Contact Jacqueline Moore for information.

Featuring Jane Ponsford, Mark Reddy, Romilly Saumarez Smith and Katie Spragg.

Jane Ponsford is an artist and papermaker who uses repetitive processes to create sculptural and textural forms made up of hundreds of near identical fragments of handmade paper. Ponsford‘s preoccupation with materiality and process in response to place is an attempt to capture the essence of a landscape. Ephemeral and fragile, her works are informed by locally sourced materials – a chunk of clay or chalk, bark from a fallen tree, oak galls or bramble shoots and dandelion flowers. Ponsford uses these serendipitous finds gathered during walks to provide pigments and dyes to colour her paper, and inform the starting point for her creative process. Intrigued by the impulse to collect, assemble and arrange, Ponsford‘s works are tied, bundled, strung together and simply grouped.

Wood artist, Mark Reddy investigates the humble form of the spoon with a simplicity of purpose. Carved from living wood, bound to the land we walk, Reddy‘s spoons possess a meditative memory of forgotten values and desires. He sees symbolism in the familiar utensil that has occupied a place in our everyday lives throughout our history and cultures. Creating sacred objects which explore the liminal divide between the functional and sculptural, with subtle details and embellishments that embody timeless and universal themes. Deeply informed by the seasons, place, and landscape, Reddy works with wood cut and foraged locally, utilising the innate character and natural energy inherent in his material. Spalted beech, maple, apple, cherry and walnut; carbonized, burnished with gold; adorned with Roman coins, ammonites, carved and found objects. The familiarity of regularly followed paths, the search for a variety of necessary materials to work with, often accidental, whilst observing the small daily changes in the seasons always affects the final outcome of every object.

Romilly Saumarez Smith is a jeweller drawn to hidden worlds, taking metal detecting finds which have lain lost and unseen beneath the soil for hundreds of years and filling them with new life above the ground. Her acts of making rekindle the discarded, marked by a previous life – crushed thimbles, old cutlery handles, ancient belt buckles, the everyday remnants of history. With her jeweller’s eye and through the hands of her studio co-makers, she combines these fragments of the past with the richest of materials – silver and gold, coral, seed pearls and diamonds. The ‘Treehandle’ series forms the focus of her new collection on view within this exhibition. The visual metaphors for the tree blossom and foliage, a dendrite fossil, delicately traced with tiny fronds, held by a handle of grooved bone, sea fans spreading from handles in mother of pearl and silver. Mythical worlds conjured through intricate artistry, the salvaged transformed into new artefacts.

Ceramic artist, Katie Spragg creates porcelain sculptures that peer into our interconnected relationship with nature and living organisms, questioning the evolving patterns in which humans and plants co-exist. Spragg is interested in the tension and space between managed and cultivated landscapes and the tenacious resourcefulness of nature, pulling focus to the margins and intersections. Her works for this exhibition are inspired by the Oudolf Field and countryside that surrounds Hauser & Wirth Somerset, following a series of research visits throughout the past year. A theme that threads through this new work is the delicate dependency between wildlife and organically occurring interactions between humans, wild and curated plants and their environments over time. By creating imaginary worlds, enlarging or miniaturising specific compositions, Spragg encourages deeper investigation into how plants behave and how their behaviour can help us reconsider our own approach to communities and landscape.

About Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset

Make Hauser & Wirth Somerset is a destination for contemporary making and the crafted object, committed to showcasing the best emerging and established makers both nationally and internationally. Make occupies two rooms of a Georgian townhouse on Bruton High Street with Jacqueline Moore as Director. Since its launch in 2018, the gallery has presented work by over fifty artist-makers, providing valuable insights into the working processes and rich narratives of their practices. There is an emphasis on pieces commissioned specifically for Make, some of which are created in response to Somerset and the South West, employing locally sourced materials. All works are for sale.


Selected Images

Echinacea, Blood grass, Sporobolus

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Installation Views

2. Gathering Installation View 2020

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