Sarah Rhys – Cryptic Landscape (recording available)

Cryptic Landscape is the title of an exhibition of Sarah’s work at The National Botanic Gardens of Wales. The title evokes the miniature and mysterious botanical worlds of lichen and moss. These organisms are also cryptogams which means their reproduction is often unseen; Linnaeus described this category as like a ‘hidden marriage’. Whereas other plants had stamens and flowering parts and were described as having an ‘open marriage’.

Sarah has been observing and collecting lichen and moss specimens from the surrounding Tywi Valley area and creating various pieces – including small porcelain slip casts and handmade film. She says of the casting process, “Making porcelain casts feels like a small geological event, suspending a life form and transforming it into another material”.

In this session Sarah will explain how this body of work evolved, the thinking behind the work as well as the making processes, and the challenges of working with fragile materials.


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