RUTHIN.- Laura Ellen Bacons spectacular installation,Inundation, is immense and transparent. Thousands of willow rods are meticulously tied together by hand to make huge basket-like structures which appear to pour from the ceiling and fill the floor of one of the large galleries at Ruthin Craft Centre. The temporary exhibit, open to the public until 21 September, responds to the architecture and the flow of visitors. It is possible to approach the structure and see how it is made, from rods knotted together to make a massive wave.
The work is about the recent extreme flooding, both in North Wales and the Somerset Levels, where the willow for this work was grown. The waters, of course, eventually receded, having caused great hardship and destruction, but in time for the annual willow harvest. A memory of the event, however, is embodied in the material: Laura says, In recent months, the willow Ive received from Somerset has held trace markings left from the receding waterline of the floods. This fascinating trace on each stem has given me vivid, imaginary images of the thousands of willow stems standing stoutly in the flood, waiting quietly for the threatening water levels to drop. Throughout the whole period of flooding and amid all the alarm and anxiety, the willow was standing, still and quiet; I can imagine how cloudy and cold the water was, how immensely crushed the ground below must have been, how the daylight would be mirrored brilliantly between the willow stems. Within the installation a new waterline is established, a memory of recent events.
Laura Ellen Bacon has exhibitedly widely since 2001, including exhibitions and events such as Collect at Londons Saatchi Gallery and Jerwood Contemporary Makers 2010. Her sculptural forms are found in both interior and landscape settings, which have included Chatsworth, Blackwell in the Lake District and New Art Centre in Wiltshire. Her studio is in Derbyshire.