Geoff Forrest

Geoff works with willow, a material still grown commercially within the UK and one with a long history within our culture. This connection is important to him as it links the past and the present to create a common language across the ages. Using traditional techniques in contemporary work continues this dialogue with the past.

Willow can be used both in its live and dry form giving it a static or dynamic quality. There are few materials that can be sculpted while continuing to grow and develop over future years. Equally willow can demonstrate decay where it gradually becomes brittle and deteriorates.

Geoff’s contemporary work follows two strands, one live willow where he makes structures and sculptures which actually grow and the other where he uses dried willow to make containers. Much of his contemporary influences come from the work of Danish willow artists such as Ane Lyngsgaard who use organic forms mixed with driftwood and other material.  These have a flow which brings out the curve of the vessel and also emphasises the texture.

Leaf forms and structures with spines are themes which often appear in his work. This year has seen Geoff experimenting with shapes that follow a pattern of ripeness where the container seems to have over reached itself and split. Another experiment of emphasising ribs and using a different weave has led to an unusual bunching effect which again is reminiscent of fruit. More steel has been creeping into his sculptural work becoming part of the piece rather than purely as an armature. Not unlike willow things seem to just keep growing.

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