The provenance of materials is of particular importance to Eleanor and she likes to share the story behind each piece of work. In order to create ethical and sustainable work, she has made it her challenge to only use wood from trees felled in South London or elsewhere in the British Isles. Notable awards and accolades include a nomination for the Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon Prize and The Cockpit Arts / Worshipful Company of Turners Award. She works to both public and private commission and creates collections for The New Craftsmen and Liberty.
Eleanor uses a lathe and carving tools to make vessels and sculptural forms in wood. She is based in South London at Cockpit Arts, a community of artists and makers.
Brought up in a small village in Mid-Wales, Eleanor taught in several countries in Europe and West Africa before her lifelong love of wood compelled her to retrain as a furniture-maker.
She completed her training at London College of Furniture / Guildhall University in 1998, and went on to work as a cabinet maker for ten years before honing and developing her artistic practice through a series of masterclasses.
Having learnt to carve and sculpt wood using centuries-old tools, today Eleanor uses a number of traditional and modern techniques to explore her fascination with the material:
“I am particularly interested in the way natural elements and processes layer and colour wood and how the passage of time is etched into the fibres of the material.
I peel back bark to reveal the organic chaos that can exist in the material itself or build up layers of texture through carving and sandblasting. I use the vessel form and surface pattern to explore the layers and fissures between creation and decay and the erosion of nature.”
Eleanor’s pieces are exhibited at select galleries and exhibitions including CAA (Contemporary Applied Arts), Sarah Myerscough Gallery at Collect and William Benington Gallery, Sculptural 2015.
The following photographs are taken by Alum Callender Photography and show Eleanor in her studio at Cockpit Arts.