20. Willow Fish
By Angela Morley
Mixed willow and Mixed willow and dogwood
Angela took a degree in Horticulture before studying at Farnham Art College. Her passion for nature led her to experiment with weaving natural materials, some of which are harvested from her own willow beds and hedgerows. Although her sculptures are short-lived outdoors, they keep well indoors. Her fish sculptures were inspired by the Abbot of Glastonbury’s fishponds at Meare.
In their own words ...
These fish sculptures were inspired by the Abbot of Glastonbury’s fishponds at Meare and the large numbers of fish bones found in archaeological deposits in the Abbot’s Kitchen. I wanted to create something to represent the food that would have been cooked in this wonderful medieval building.
I was brought up in South West France where my parents had set up their pottery studios. I returned to England to study sciences which led to a degree in Horticulture in 1986. I then spent most of my time working as a horticulturist; teaching and designing gardens.
My passion for nature led me to experiment with weaving natural materials and in 2003 I went to Art College in Farnham, Surrey. Design, ecology and sustainability inform my work, be it gardens or sculptural willow forms. I am fascinated by the strength that comes from weaving individual twigs and I see these as the intricate web that binds together all forms of life.
I work with a wide range of natural materials, for example driftwood, hazel, apple prunings, dogwoods, old man’s beard, bramble and silver birch. Some of the materials are harvested from my own willow beds, hedgerows and local woodland which are managed by coppicing and hedge laying.
My work celebrates the beauty of the individual fibre, twig or piece of wood, its smooth or twisted grain, its subtle colour, texture, buds and tendrils. My work aims to be completely natural, so it is often ephemeral or short lived when placed outdoors, but keeps well indoors.
I work from a studio, just outside Shepton Mallet, where we have planted 500 cider apple trees, grow our own vegetables, keep bees and hens.