As you already know I am a big fan of finding local, new, and generally underappreciated artists and showing off their work. I feel that if an individual artist starting out has any hope of beating the big corporate machine that wants them to create multiple versions of the same flowers to be printed on canvas, duvets, and curtains alike, it needs to be through their fans and the support of people who buy from them. I don’t see myself as a patron because in my head that requires far more money than I’ve got, but I do think we need a re-emergence of people who are willing to support artists in their creative endeavors. Plus the art is just really awesome!
My example today is of Natalie Huntsman at Foxy Upcycling. With both Foxes and Upcycling in the title I was always going to be a fan, but I was struck by one particular piece whilst at RHS Hyde Hall Gardens Craft and Design Show 2015.
By using stencils and spray paint Natalie created images of two animals on pieces of curling scroll-like bark. The iridescent effect of multiple layers of paint together with the natural texture of the bark created an almost ancient look, as if they could have been found in a cave. For me the nostalgia of myself as a little girl peeling away silver birch bark to use as paper as well as it’s beautiful framing on a dark background kept it floating around my mind long after we’d left the show.
Thankfully, Bear contacted Natalie and (through some mischief) purchased the piece. It is now waiting to be hung and I can’t wait to show it off. It is both highly individual and gorgeously rustic and I love it. It even came with a few beautiful bunnies sprayed on the packaging which might have to be framed too!
Other pieces of Foxy Upcycle work around the same idea of transferring natural images of plant-life, animals, and birds onto discarded pieces of wood and furniture. The metallic effect of the paint doesn’t jar with the natural materials she uses, instead they act as dew does on grass – giving a sparkle to everyday surfaces, reviving them from the plain to the artistic.
Natalie is holding an exhibition this weekend in Maldon, so if you happen to be in or around Essex on the 16th why not contact her for details!