Art at Penllergare

Art at Penllergare

16th March 2016 News 0
Helen Sear - Plinths for Imaginary Birds (5)

Visitors to Penllergare Valley Woods may discover sculptures,  placed around the woodland.  How many can you find?

Plinths for Imaginary Birds

From China, Taiwan and Korea, mass-produced ceramic mantle piece figurines of British birds, perched on crude approximations of logs and tree stumps, are exported to the west.

ceramic birds

I have been collecting these for some time and made 5 sculptures of the plinths with the birds removed, so that the “tree stump” originally supporting the birds became the sculpture.  The horizontal plane where the bird has been cut off forms a tabletop and the remaining legs of the birds take on a scale equivalent to the human body. Through an expansion of scale and stripped of their painted finish, these vernacular domestic objects aspired to the condition of high art made from marble or alabaster.

The work was first exhibited as part of a national touring exhibition initiated by Oriel Davies Newtown in 2013 that included “Pastoral Monuments”, a homage to Mary Dillwyn’s flower photographs.

Placing the sculptures back in the grounds of the house at Penllergare, it is hoped that the gradual weathering of the objects and an accruing of mosses and lichen over time, will return them to the condition of an ancient ruin or folly, camouflaged and returned to nature.

Helen Sear


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