Robert Lawrence: Covid Clouds

Robert Lawrence is a wood carver & artificer, specialising in contemporary life-like sculpture for private gardens and public spaces. His work responds to issues including climate change and conservation art and aims to induce natural human responses and interactions. During COVID, he has been producing new works which art historian, Griffin Coe, reflects on here.

"Robert Lawrence’s latest art installation entitled ‘Covid Clouds’ consists of a series of symbols carved in the shape of a cloud and painted in white. These signs carry short, thought-provoking messages from the artist. They are suspended from the branches of trees and displayed randomly in the woodland along a disused railway track in the village of Johnshaven. The viewer travels through a composition of words both physically and metaphorically. This concept relies on the notion that experiencing a work of art is a journey. The essence of this installation is to showcase how a work of art can achieve variety and nuance with very simple material.

The clouds with written words resemble the clover-shaped fruits of the Lignum vitae (the Tree of Life) from manuscripts. Just as the Tree of life was made to assist meditative visualisation for the monks, this installation is designed to ponder and bring before the eyes of the viewer the questions and challenges of the global pandemic and how surprisingly easy it is to find our way of life so rapidly altered and brought to a standstill.

We pass through the woodland with spring’s breezes whispering through the grass, rustling the leaves and the branches, the sun’s rays piercing the foliage and showing the trees in an ever-changing light. We pause, read the signs on the branches during our lockdown walks, and seeing these signs in the wood makes us slow down and think about things at the heart of the matter. By doing so, it offers us some degree of solace in unfortunate times.This art installation gives the viewers perspective and makes sense of their journey in which we are reminded that the nature can more easily face the future without us than we can without it."

You can find out more about Robert's work and this project on his website.

CuratorSpace are currently featuring articles by artists, curators and organisations who want to share their experiences of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, whether that is artists using their practice as a way of exploring new boundaries of isolation, or as a way to connect more broadly with their communities. We are also interested in hearing from curators and organisations who are offering support to artists and audiences during this time.

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