Soft Touch Arts Summer Sculpture

In many ways this was my first group residency. It was 2013 and I had made local charity Soft Touch Arts my de facto art studio for the last few months. I was a participant on one of their projects. They offered me the opportunity to join another one. This second project was shorter term, running over the summer. It involved spending sessions at an arboretum and doing wood sculpture, which would then be shown at University of Leicester Botanic Garden. It was as an offshoot of an exhibition they had on at the time called A Change of Heart. Initially I was really struggling to get in the zone. I'd had a specific plan in my head of carving the ends of branches into zombie-like hands. It became clear pretty quickly that I had bitten off more than I could chew. I took a step back and decided to just get stuck in, this time with no plan, to get into the zone and to get something done. I ended up focusing on contrast, marks, and composition. The process involved cutting wood sections in half, blow-torching one side and then putting them back together.

Close-up of artist Lewis Buttery using blowtorch on wood sculpture