The idea for 'What lies beneath' is to create a string of large, steam bent sweet chestnut spheres, inspired by the beautiful skeletal remains of ancient "coccoliths" the calcium carbonate remains that make up, in their billions (one features as the project logo), the beautiful chalk South Downs, that end at the iconic cliffs between Seaford and Eastbourne.
The technique to create the sculptures is drawn from age old methods used in creating the Sussex Trug Basket (what is a trug?). Steaming, Sussex sourced, sweet chestnut staves, until they're are amazingly pliable. Which are then bent to the required shape around formers, allowed to cool. The components are then joined together and the sphere slowly takes shape. It is hoped the sculpture will have a 'limed' finish, using lime created from South Down chalk.
'What lies beneath' will be at the heart of Keith's 2019 Artwave exhibition, aims to raise awareness of the dramatic coastal erosion of the soft chalk cliffs and proceeds of sales at the exhibition will be given to CuckmereSOS who are raising funds to renew, repair and extend the existing sea defences in an attempt to preserve the iconic view of coastguard cottages and the Seven Sisters Cliffs beyond for future generation to come.
Charlie is one of the last traditional Sussex Trug Basket Makers still plying his beautiful craft, and Keith a printmaker, sculptor and artist. The project, 'What lies beneath' has grown from previous collaborations between the two; Keith's sculpture trail at the National Trusts 'Walk Woods - Sheffield Park' and the LHF funded sculpture 'Reach' at Pickhams, Sussex.
'What lies beneath' will be exhibited during Artwave, the arts festival for Lewes District and will be on site from the 16th August to 1st September, at the Cable Hut below the Coastguard Cottages, Seaford, East Sussex. BN25 4AR.