Art in the Time of CoronavirusSLOE LICHEN CLOUD
I had been wanting for some time to make a hanging mushroom piece made from lichen covered Blackthorn. It grows everywhere in the hedgerows around my home and is prevellant in the wet winters. I suggested the idea to Chantal Colleu-Dumond at Chaumont sur Loire and she readily agreed – pointing out that the best place would be in the main barn.
I sent her drawings of how to make the top and the bottom and a date was set to make it in February when three students would be available. Then we went into lockdown and there was no way I could come over and make it. Instead Kay and I collected all the material – nearly 4000 pieces and we strung these in the studio. There were 456 strands with 3743 pieces of lichen covered thorn to be tied on. Each 4 m. long strand was placed on the full scale cross section drawing and the thorns tied on at the correct intervals. Each strand was wrapped around a numbered piece of card and placed in a numbered boxes – about 20 in all. It took us the best part of a month. We shipped the boxes labelled sculpture material and held our breath that they wouldn’t be opened and impounded. They got through without a hitch