Intricate sculptures – handcrafted from soils excavated within 20 miles of Bath – make up the latest fascinating exhibition to be staged at the Victoria Art Gallery.
“Earthworks”, by Peter Burke, uses the sculptures of individuals connected with Bath and the surrounding area to explore the relationship between people, place and the earth.
Other sculptures feature appendages, heads or partial figures, such as “Ritual” which comprises two dozen feet coming out of the gallery wall and then returning. The “Cup” series depicts pairs of life-size cupped hands against one metre squares of cracked earth. The sculpture “Of Landscape” is a row of heads, all cast from different soils and contained within steel frames.
The variety of soils found within a 20 mile radius of Bath includes the white chalk of Westbury, deep red soil of Bristol, vivid red soil north of Bath and yellow-brown Cotswold soils.
Councillor Cherry Beath (Lib-Dem, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “Bath & North East Somerset Council welcomes visitors to the Victoria Art Gallery for this thought-provoking and engaging new exhibition.
“Peter Burke’s sculptures explore the notion that the earth beneath our feet is the most fundamental way that we can establish our sense of place and set down roots.”
Peter Burke trained as a jig and tool designer with Rolls Royce in Bristol. After attending art college he became a Foundation Course lecturer in 3D Art and Design. Since 1994 he has been active full time as a sculptor, exhibiting his work internationally and winning prestigious awards. He lives and works in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire.
The exhibition runs from 3 December 2011 to 5 February 2012; with a free tour led by Peter Burke on Saturday 7 January from 1pm-1.45pm.
The Victoria Art Gallery also hosts Kate Flood: “The Light Within” – a collection of radiant landscape paintings which offer glimpses from windows or shaded enclosures to explore the contrast between stillness and the shifting patterns of foliage, light and shade.
The Bath artist will give a free talk and tour to the blind and partially sighted from 10.30am to 12noon on Thursday 15 December as part of her exhibition, which runs from 3 December 2011 to 5 February 2012.
The Victoria Art Gallery, near Pulteney Bridge in Bath, is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sundays 1.30pm to 5pm and closed on Mondays. Admission is free. For more details call 01225 477233 or visit the Gallery’s website http://www.victoriagal.org.uk.