Into the woods

Kent Life|July 2020

Into the woods
Biddenden artist Scarlett Woodman works with found items to create works of delicate beauty that reflect the surrounding countryside
Diana Crampton

The Hayward Gallery had a show entitled ‘Among the Trees’, which you can enjoy as a virtual tour.

I have just finished reading Richard Powers’ The Overstory, themed around the possibility that trees can communicate, so it is appropriate that I am talking to Scarlett Woodman, whose work substantially features trees.

Using found items of old metal, she creates delicate images of branches and leaves. Whenever she is out and about, Scarlett will collect scrap items which are then stored in a stable block.

There are four separate rooms here: two are used as a gallery space and kept neat and tidy. Then there is the storeroom and finally the workspace. “I like having all my materials on display around me, by being constantly surrounded by them, ideas are continually developing and things seem to come together in a really organic manner.”

Scarlett has been in this studio for about five years. “I started using this space in my final year of university, when I was making more sculptural works using concrete, so I needed a lot of space where I could make a lot of mess,” she laughs.

Scarlett did a foundation course at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Canterbury, which she describes as “fantastic and just the most fun year.”

It was at UCA that she started painting on wood then corrugated iron, which eventually developed into what she does today.

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July 2020