Artist Laura Ellen Bacon creates sculptures that were initially inspired by nest-like forms that have developed into much more. All of my work has been generated because of a personal (and solitary) drive to build, to create and often to be able to climb inside; the thrill of the quiet space that did not exist before my hands placed the material in the available position.
Some of my work celebrates these ‘spaces’ openly, such as in my exhibition, ‘In the Thick of it: A Woven Space’ and some spaces are known only to me, such as the huge spatial interior of ‘Forms of Growth’ at Chatsworth, where I wove much of the form from the inside out – and eventually sealed the entry. I would regard my work as abstract, in the sense that it does not represent something in a figurative sense and my ambition for my work is to generate a kind of intrigue and an appeal that touches a powerful (and perhaps ancient) nerve that we cannot precisely locate.
Being interested in the way in which nests (both insect, animal and bird) often use existing structures for support, I began making my early works at the turn of the millennium upon dry stone walls and evolved to work within trees, riverbanks and hedges, allowing the chosen structure (be it organic or man-made) to become host. My work responds firstly to the structural or spatial features of a particular site, in much same way as the questing foot of a weaver-bird might regard the flex of a bough or a colony of wasps might collaborate within the rafters.
Secondly, I respond to the feeling of the site and the opportunity to give the work (and in some way, the host structure) a sense of movement, of slow growth, as if the work will continue to grow when the viewer’s back is turned, chancing if I can to encourage the viewer to consider the internal form and perhaps by way of that, the construction; the possibilities and language of materials.
I am still powerfully driven to create ‘spaces’ of some kind and over a decade into my work, my passions have also returned to not only merging with the simplicity of dry stone walls, but towards powerful connections with architecture.
Photography by Richard Richards, Laura Ellen Bacon, Chatsworth House Trust, Richard Tailby, Chris Elliott