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I'm an arts journalist & PR consultant living and working in Scotland. I've been a journalist for more than 25 years. I write a regular column for Scottish quality newspaper, The Herald. I deliver a PR service with an arty bent and work on a consultancy basis with arts organisations, including Scotland's leading creative industries festival, XpoNorth & broadcast support body, ScreenHI. I am currently co-writing a book about the celebrated Scots artist, George Wyllie, with his daughter Louise. Instrumental in making a celebration of his life's work happen in 2012. For more information, see www.georgewyllie.com When I'm not being a mum/working, I talk to my dog. He laps it up. Contact me on janpatience@me.com (All work © Jan Patience)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Lotte Glob: 50 Years in Clay

This feature on the ceramic artist Lotte Glob appeared in The Herald Arts section on June 18, 2011
It's on my list of 'to dos' to get myself up to Sutherland to see Lotte's 'sculptured garden'.

Sculpture Croft
105 Laid, Loch Eriboll, Sutherland
June 25 - July 18
12pm-5pm daily
01971 511727
Lotte Glob in her 'sculptured croft'

Dolly The Sheep (LOVE this...)

The Glasgow-born scul?tor George Wyllie, who turns 90 later this year, knows a thing or two about cosmic journeys. His own art, typified by major public works such as The Straw Locomotive, The Paper Boat and the Running Clock, touches on the many and varied ways in which mankind leaves its mark on this earth as they pass through it.
His daughter Louise once told me her father ‘is not a fan of sculpture parks’. “He says it’s where old sculptures go to die.”
I can’t speak for the great man, but I suspect Wyllie would approve of Lotte Glob’s ‘sculptured garden’ on the shores of Loch Eriboll in Sutherland, which will be open to the public every day from next Saturday, until July 18.
Our place in the universe has long been a source of fascination and inspiration for Glob, who was born in Denmark in 1944. Her 1980s project, The Ultimate Rock Garden, was all about putting her art back into the geology of the landscape. Her next major undertaking came in 1994, when she laid out 333 floating stones on a beach in the north west Highlands, hoping they would catch the spring tide.
In the more recent Floating Stones project, she placed three stones in 111 different lochans around the highlands of Scotland.
Now, in a major retrospective of a fertile career spanning more than 50 years, Glob has come home to roost on her own little patch of land in Sutherland in the north west Highlands. Glob knows she is a mere stripling on the face of the landscape she inhabits, but she also understands the wider significance of human footprints on its soil.
“My sculpture garden was born ten thousand million years ago,” she explains. “Before I built my croft there in 1999, the land had lain dormant and uncared for 36 years. Then, I became part of the 16 acres croft and it is now beginning to evolve.
“The first thing I did there was fence it from the road to the shores of Loch Eriboll. Not to keep people out, but to keep the sheep and deer out. I bought a strimmer as my new pencil and followed the sheep track, gradually extending round and round the croft so that now one can walk for miles – and get nowhere!”
According to Glob, who has lived and worked in Sutherland for 45 years now, there have been ‘fantastic’ changes since then. “Apart from three or four old rowan trees and a few willow bushes, nothing grew there as everything was chewed by the sheep and the deer. Now the grass, flowers and trees are growing again and new birds are arriving daily. I have planted over 4000 trees, mostly natives with some immigrants. Lots of fruit trees and bushes are scattered around.
“I am an optimist and I will try to grow anything on this desolate spot on the north coast of Scotland, abundant with rocks, almost no soil, plenty of heather and gales.”
This will be the second retrospective of Glob’s work in three years. In 2009, she had a major retrospective at
The Museum of International Ceramic Art, in Grimmerhus, Denmark. Glob’s career as a ceramicist started in the late 1950s when she was apprenticed aged 15 years to Gutte Eriksen, a respected studio potter. She then moved on to an eighth generation traditional pottery, where she was taught by Knud Jensen.
Earlier this year, several of her sculptures from the garden in Sutherland travelled to Glasgow School of Art for what she describes as a ‘city break’ when they were part of an acclaimed exhibition called The Erratics, which also featured the work of Nick Evans and Ruth Barker.
This very personal retrospective in Glob’s studio and croft is a response to the many requests she received in the wake of her retrospective in Denmark from people who wanted to see her work in this very personal setting.
For the exhibition at home, Glob has cleared her studio to turn it into an exhibition space featuring work which dates back to 1958. “This exhibition features a large, diverse selection of work showing 50 years of my developing technique, exploring the evolved creative processes I have used while experimenting in ceramic art, to create a dissimilar collection of sculptural forms inspired by the landscape.”
Glob describes herself as ‘taking root’ here together with the trees and sculptures. “In the future,” she adds, “I hope others will walk and enjoy this tiny little annex of the universe.”

1 comment:

  1. We met Lotte Glob a few years back and bought some of her work with wonderful turquoise glazes. I also photographed her house (from the road). There was several pieces of her work in the garden some of them waving about in the breeze. Her house sat well in the stark landscape and I believe was up for some architectural awards.


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