Pip Rice and Ben Rice are showing their work at Bell House this weekend as part of the Dulwich Festival’s Artists’ Open House and they will be available both days to talk about their inspirations and processes. Rod Wynne-Powell has taken some photos to give you a flavour of their work and how the setting of Bell House complements the exhibits.
Pip Rice’s woventales evolve from the twigs, leaves, bark and metal she finds in South London. Often her strategy is simply taking a walk on a windy day, peering in skips, or listening out for chain saws. For this exhibition she has foraged the Bell House garden for brambles, willow, beech, rose and birch but also rummaged the wider neighbourhood for urban flotsam and jetsam such as rope, netting, copper wire or scrap metal. Once back in her workshop, the textures and qualities of the materials guide her and together with her traditional and experimental weaving techniques she then produces exquisite forms. Each piece, whether functional or sculptural, is always unique.
Ben Rice is a photographic artist. At Bell House he is exhibiting large and dramatic prints illustrating nature’s reclamation of dry stone walls and they are creating quite a stir at Bell House as people debate whether they are photographs or real living wall. Ben himself wonders whether they are landscape, still life, portrait, or even abstract. He is also showing stunning views of a single urban wild cherry tree from Peckham Rye, isolated from its environment and deeply striking in its solitude. When viewed close up his prints offer a startling clarity of detail far beyond the normal gaze. He is also showing a more modestly-sized series inspired by the nuances of Japanese culture as seen through the prism of elegantly placed bicycles. The bicycles are his jumping off point for exploring Japanese architecture, design and even character.
The exhibition is open at Bell House from 11am to 6pm, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 May. Rod Wynne-Powell’s account of its opening can be found here