RESURRECT, Quercus Robur, 1810-2019 / Rachael Louise Bailey & Johnny Woodford

Alice Black, London

16 November – 20 December 2019

Harbouring strong environmental underpinnings, ‘Resurrect’ is intended to shine a critical spotlight on the crucial role of trees in our time of climate crisis and on the nature of human intervention in the natural world.

Quercus Robur, 1810-2019 once stood on the edge of woodland in West Sussex, where starved of light it fell before its time. Discovered in the Spring of this year and with the agreement of the land-owners, Bailey and Woodford removed the 200 year old Oak, limb by limb, beginning the careful process of deconstruction and reconstruction.

Rachael Louise Bailey (b. 1975) lives and works between Kent and Brighton, UK. She studied at ‘Statuaria Arte School of Sculpture’, residency, Cararra, Italy (2004); ‘Direct Carving Stone and Wood’, Formation Professionnel-Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, France (2010-14); ‘Conception de jardin dans le paysage’, Formation Professionnel – Ecole Nationale Supérieure du Paysage’, Versailles, France (2006-08). The genesis for Bailey’s work is in the exploration and transformation of overlooked or discarded material that is often deemed to be of little value or significance yet has long lasting environmental consequences. Through her manipulation of these materials, Bailey shines an unsparing spotlight on the unfortunate anthropocentric realities of our time. In 2019 Bailey won the Fondation Francois Schneider, Contemporary Talents International Art Award as well as the An Lanntair ‘Island Going Residency’ in the Outer Hebrides.

Johnny Woodford (b. 1962) studied at Brighton University with a BA in Fine Art (1985-1988). Since graduating, Woodford has worked primarily with wood. In 1994 he bought six acres of Sussex woodland which has been and remains the focus of his attention. When not working on the land he spends his time split between making sculpture and building structures. Work produced this year include a series of carved and burnt walls for the Andy Sturgeon garden at the Chelsea Flower Show and a puppet theatre commissioned by Cleve West for Christ church CE in south London.

All images > Courtesy of Alice Black, London and the artists