Five2Watch: Growth

Inspired by Sam Williams' Micro-Commission project 'A Soft Landing', Five2Watch this week is all about growth. Featuring work by James Eddy, Rebecca Beinart, Rich White, Gemma Wood and Anna Keleher.

"Growth & decay", charcoal sculpture, 2016

James Eddy

"Growth & decay", charcoal sculpture, a time based work first created in 2011 at the Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Constructed with charred timber and charcoal, the sculpture is an abstract form expressing the natural process of growth and decay in nature. Growth flowing upwards towards the sun before eventually returning to the soil.

The work is intended to decay over time. It is a home to many species of flora and fauna, including nesting wagtails.

The images in this section show how the piece has changed over the last five years, the main body of the work, above ground, is left to natural process and weathering. The only artistic intervention is seasonal gardening around the sculpture. And in the Winter, the adding of fresh charred wood to make sense of the sculptures base.

James Eddy

Exponential Growth, 2010

Rebecca Beinart

Exponential Growth is a commission for the Radar Arts Program at Loughborough University. The project has created an exchange network to share a locally found yeast culture, in an experiment to see whether Loughborough's 'Culture' can colonise the world, and what the limits are to growth.

There are many varieties of wild yeast present in our environment that have been used for centuries to leaven bread and ferment beer. In this form they are referred to as 'starter cultures'. Working with scientists, bakers and home-brew enthusiasts, I experimented with capturing and growing these cultures, and developing them into Starter Kits, which were distributed to local residents and visitors to take care of, use for food production, grow, divide and pass on. The project created a network through which these Loughborough-born cultures have been spread regionally, nationally and globally. The systems of transport and exchange that help the culture to spread have been tracked on the project website:

Exponential Growth brings into question our value judgements about locality, global economics, growth and sustainability. It is a phrase often used with abhorrence by environmentalists, and with glee by economists. Is continuous growth possible and desirable, or do all systems find their own limits?

Rebecca Beinart

Engine of Growth, 2016

Rich White

Engine of Growth was an installation surrounding the sculpture 'Odd Oaks' by Nicholas Pope (1982), one of a number of sculptures in Thorpe Meadows Sculpture Park, Peterborough. The installation, which consisted of 100 square timber columns painted yellow, appeared to threaten the sculpture with the columns getting nearer together as they got nearer to the sculpture.

During a two-day festival in the sculpture park visitors were invited to vote on whether to 'Repair', 'Recycle' or 'Remove' the sculpture by placing a corresponding sticker on any yellow column.

The intention of the work was to provoke debate about the public sculpture collection in the park and get people talking and thinking about the value of public works and how we look after them.

More info:

Rich White

Network Molecule, 2018

Gemma Wood Being-nowhere

In this age of 'connection' how relevant is Dunbar's number (we can only maintain relationships with approximately 150 people. This participatory activity asks the public to think about and build a physical representation of their network of care. Who cares for you, who do you rely on? Inspired by social media mapping tools where conversations are illustrated to show commercial opportunities, each person represents a dot that is bridged to another dot. Commissioned by Artwaves 2018. Later used within a workshop for Space Invaders York.

Gemma Wood


Anna Keleher

DREAMING PLACE: a collaborative adventure

DREAMING PLACE is an experimental project by Anna Keleher (Devon) and Claire Coté (New Mexico).

Based on an ancient Celtic tradition in which the land remembers everything, the project explores “dreams of place” and how lands speak through dreamers.

The project began with a 40- day, research-driven, traveling residency throughout Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark in June and July, 2011. During their time exploring the Geopark, the artists devised novel techniques for deep immersion in the diverse natural, cultural and dream ecologies of these X-border homelands. From this collection of techniques they created the Place-Dreamer Toolkit.

DREAMING PLACE continues to evolve and grow. Since the completion of their fieldwork, Claire and Anna have been diligently interpreting, processing and
editing data gathered from Geopark with their Place-Dreamer Toolkit.

Because Anna lives in Devon, England and Claire lives in New Mexico in the U.S., they use a suite of internet technologies to keep their international collaboration flourishing across the miles. Outcomes include their DREAMING PLACE archive blog, their Collaborative and Dream Cloud Drawings, the 5-part Radio Dreaming series set for international launch in April 2013 and their off-grid Place-Dreamer Pod for Radio Dreaming.

Anna Keleher



Published 2 July 2021