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Nicola Yeoman

To mark the summer solstice and the launch of our latest release, we commissioned the visual artist Nicola Yeoman to create a sculpture from natural materials. The result is an 8 foot high wooden structure, crowned with an orb made from hay - an ingredient we have used in Summer 21 for the first time. Into the hay, Nicola wove ribbons, flowers and feathers. On a summer evening in early June we set it alight. This short film captures the making and the burning.

Season:Summer 21
Date Created:2021-06-09
Medium:Wood & hay

The work celebrates the ancient art of marking the summer solstice. The intention was for it to be pagan and traditional in feel, but it became a very personal and cathartic experience, involving items which took me a long time to gather and collect.

The structure of the orb itself is made from sticks collected from a nearby wood - I only wanted those that were covered in lichen, signifying that they were from an area of cleaner air. Through the sticks I wove hay, straw and wheat, scavenged from the farm. Onto this I layered dried flowers which I had saved over the past year - representing both happy and bleaker times - as well as fresh flowers, which I had grown from seed, and many feathers, which I had collected over the years. The ritual act of burning the sculpture became a way of letting go…

Nicola Yeoman is a visual artist and set designer. Her first public art installation Home was shown at the London Design Festival in 2010. Since then her works have appeared on the covers of various publications, including New York Times, Wallpaper* and Vogue. She also created the installation for Jay Z’s iconic Blueprint 3 album cover. Nicola often uses natural or found objects in her works - shedding light on our relationship with material and form.

Nicola is the fourth artist to work with us on the Ffern Artists series. You can read about the others here.

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