Caroline SharpArtist, Maker, Project manager, Consultant
My work is largely concerned with form and the development of 3-D spaces which challenge the senses, including memory and emotion. My work divides into two strands - 1) landscape architecture, site-specific, land art; 2) domestic scale sculpture in stone and willow. In my designs of outdoor spaces/public art I am keen to celebrate the uniqueness of place and am influenced by the 3-D form of the place, its history, and cultural context. I have been responsible for the design of several urban spaces in the public realm in London and the South-West, which have involved the creation of new spaces along with the detailed design of sculptural elements, e.g.. seating, lighting, banners, bollards, paving, outdoor performance spaces. In my work at Swanage Central Square and Seafront (1993-00) the strong identity of the town and its links to the local stone and fishing trade were the main influence on the development of individual designs/pieces. In the installation Shoot/Wave at Dorset County Hospital (2002) I responded to the specific external environment and landform to create an enclosure around a hollow in the ground using willow to create a new encircling space within a space. My domestic scale pieces are largely constructed of stone, willow, and other natural organic materials. My work is strongly influenced by nature and the concepts of fertility, birth, death, and rebirth. The pieces are aesthetic in form; some are functional but that isn't their main purpose. I feel that form is the most important part of my work; form reflecting natural forms in nature. The development of the woven pieces reflects the creative process of planting, coppicing, harvesting and weaving throughout the changing seasons. My work has become a medium for the interaction with nature, which is deeply personal.
Artistic, cultural, sustainability issues
I trained as a Landscape Architect in 1983 and have subsequently worked on a variety of public urban space projects in London and the South-West. My role on these projects has been both as landscape architect and artist, and has involved the overall conceptual design of urban squares, outdoor performance spaces, urban parks, riverside walkways, and seafront promenades. I have also been responsible for the detail design of sculptural elements/ pieces within the spaces. Three of the projects I have been responsible for have won national design awards. In 2002 I gained a further qualification in Urban Design to complement my post-graduate diploma in Landscape Architecture. In 2002, I became artist in residence at Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester, Dorset, for a period of 3 months and this involved the development of a land art installation within the hospital grounds. Since 1990 I have also worked on small-scale sculptural pieces in both stone, willow and other natural materials. In 2001 I exhibited my work in this area for the first time. Since then, my work has been selected for several exhibitions throughout the South-West and nationally. I am a chartered member of the Landscape Institute, the Landscape and Art Network, the Basketmakers Association, Contemporary Applied Arts, London, and the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. I am currently working in my own practice as a landscape architect and environmental artist.
I undertake residencies and commissions for site-specific installations in which the importance of form and context are paramount. Some commissions include working with the local community in both the concept development and installation.
Recent such commissions have included two installations along the Wessex Ridgeway; “Union” an installation within a young woodland; “Fallen Apples” an installation within a community orchard as part of the Creative Footsteps Project along the Wessex Ridgeway; an installation created specifically for the frontage of the new Crafts Study Centre building at the University of Creative Arts at Farnham; “Shoot/Wave” an installation at Dorset County Hospital as part of the Arts in Hospital Programme; and a community arts commission for artsNK, Lincolnshire. read full statement
2009 - Enjoy The Earth Gently, Black Swan Arts, Frome, Somerset
2009 - Members Showcase, Devon Guild, Bovey Tracey, Devon
2009 - Vessel and Seed, Walford Mill, Wimborne, Dorset
2011 - Baskets, Ruthin Gallery, Ruthin, Denbighshire
2011 - Close to Nature, New Brewery Arts, Cirencester, Glos.
2011 - Present Collectables, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
2011 - Silver Thread , Devon Guild, Bovey Tracey, Devon
2010 - Art Loan Collection, University of Bournemouth, Dorset
2010 - Sea Light, Sladers Yard Gallery, West Bay, Dorset
2010 - Stroud International Textile Festival, Stroud, Glos.
2009 - Cup, Devon Guild, Bovey Tracey, Devon
2009 - Fresh Air, Quenington, Glos.
2008 - Black Swan Arts Open, Black Swan Arts, Frome, Somerset
2007 - Summer Exhibition, Bowlish Gallery, Somerset
2007 - Urban Field, Contemporary Applied Arts , London
2006 - Dorset Art Weeks, Open Studios, Dorset
2006 - Earthbound, Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset
2006 - Pushing the Boundaries, Touring Exhibition , Scotland and England
2006 - Take me Home, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
2005 - Exhibition, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle
2005 - Get Fresh 2, Devon Guild, Bovey Tracey, Devon
2004 - Otterton Mill, Devon
2004 - Art in the Garden, Romsey Hants
2004 - Art of Craft, venues in Dorset and Norfolk
2004 - Dorset Art Week, Dorset
2004 - Elemental Insight, BBC, Wood Lane, London
2004 - Elemental Insight, Devon Guild, Bovey Tracey, Devon
2004 - Elemental Insight, The Meteorological Office
2003 - Platform Gallery, Clitheroe, Lancs
2003 - Atrium Gallery, Bournemouth University, Dorset
2003 - Farming Matters, Artsreach, Dorset
2003 - Garden Inspiration, Walford Mill Gallery, Wimborne, Dorset
2003 - Get Fresh, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey, Devon
2003 - Ground Cover, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey, Devon
2003 - Modern Makers, Study Gallery, Poole, Dorset
2003 - Mythic Garden Annual, Chagford, Devon
2003 - Round the Garden, Scaplens Court, Poole, Dorset
2002 - Christmas Feast, Walford Mill Gallery, Wimborne, Dorset
2002 - Christmas Show, Sherborne House, Sherborne, Dorset
2002 - Construction, Walford Mill Gallery, Wimborne, Dorset
2002 - Land, Artsway, Sway, Hants
2002 - Mythic Garden Annual, Chagford, Devon
2001 - Arts in Hospital Christmas Show, Sherborne
2001 - Bridport Open Art, Bridport, Dorset
2001 - The Old Warehouse Gallery, Dorchester, Dorset
1997 - Bridport Open Art, Bridport, Dorset
1996 - Bridport Open Art, Bridport, Dorset
1994 - Lost Heritage Exhibition, Weymouth, Dorset
2004 - Making Space, Staunton Country Park, Hants.
2003 - Art in The Garden, Hilliers Garden, Hants.
2011 - Collection, Wellbeing Centre, Bournemouth University, Dorset
2008 - Fragments, Arts NK, North Hykeham Community Centre, Lincoln, Lincs.
2006 - Creative Footsteps, Artsreach, Dorset
2004 - Willow Installation, Crafts Study Centre, UCA Farnham, Surrey
2003 - Art of Craft, Artsreach, Dorset
2002 - Shoot/Wave, Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester, Dorset