Charlotte Jenner talks about her Organic Form sculpture

Original idea
My original idea for the stump is very similar to how it turned out. I'd always liked Barbara Hepworth's work and have always collected pebbles from the beach and other organic forms, such as driftwood and fossils. I particularly like objects with holes through them, which have been affected by the elements.

Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore both produced work inspired by the above. These objects and sculptures inspired by these types of forms, are very tactile and unfortunately most art galleries do not let you touch the works of art.

I wanted to create a sculpture which still had connections to its organic form, but which people could interpret differently and which they could touch and explore.

This is why it was important that it was carved to look as though it is standing on a plinth, almost like a piece of gallery sculpture, but without the boundaries and constraints. During the summer I visited Barbara Hepworth's studio in St Ives, which is now a museum. Many of her sculptures are outside, positioned in a wonderful garden, and their interaction with the foliage is spectacular.

Back to top


Golden colour
The tree is lime, a type of wood I haven't carved before, very pale to begin with but as it's exposed to the elements it turns a wonderful golden colour and the grain really starts to develop. Whilst it is still fresh it is fairly easy to carve, but as it dries out it becomes very hard. Where I decided to have the hollow and hole was difficult to carve because of lots of knots. However, I wanted the hole to be in that particular position and angle because of the view through I wanted to create.

I planned that the viewer could experience the hollow from both sides of the street and from the road. In a car you may get a glimpse of light as you drive past. From the far side pavement a shape of light and a brief view would unfold as you walk past, and from the pavement directly next to the sculpture a view which would normally not be experienced would be exposed, which you could then explore, walk towards, touch and look right into and through!

Contribution to the community
I really enjoyed the experience of carving the sculpture. I feel proud that I have been able to contribute something to the community which people can enjoy and interact with. Hopefully, children will look back fondly and remember the day that they could look through the sculpture, without being lifted up!