How can the natural world fail to inspire us all? I have just returned from an Easter weekend in north Norfolk. We walked in the Queen’s garden and ran the sandy shores and shady pinewoods at Holkham.
But before I escaped I spent an afternoon with Nicola and Chris Cox of Cox London. They were both nature lovers as children and its no surprise that as people they were drawn to be sculptors as readily as they were drawn to nature.
Continuing the exploration of their love of trees their Olive Tree chandelier was created after a single stem that found its way into their sketchbooks. Wishing the branches to be a loose tangle of metal and glass, the accents of glass are a gentle implication of fruit and bring the foliage to life.
The Olive Tree is created using a free formed, forged iron process. The branches are twisted and hand beaten into shape and the finish is a distressed hand patina. The glass is amber, cut lead crystal buds, clear glass catkins and lamp worked beads.
The oak leaf is another recurring nature theme on mirrors for Cox London. It is not only a symbol of endurance but emblematic of the English countryside. When you happen across a great oak tree in a London park there is often a wistful sense of the green hills and lost forests beyond the city borders. The composition is inspired by historic artisans such as Grinling Gibbons.
‘It is surprising how many of us are drawn to the oak above all other trees. I was told some years ago by a friend that oaks sustain more life forms than any other tree in the British Isles, playing home to a huge cross section of mammals, birds and insects. There is also so much associated folklore and history attached to the oak not to mention the vast history of use for its timber in furniture design.’
I don’t think artists will ever stop being inspired by nature as Chris says ‘art and nature have been and will remain inseparable partners. ‘