Elaine Bolt uses objects to tell stories.
“Objects can tell stories… here are some of mine.”
As a maker of sculptural installations, mixed media wall pieces and porcelain vessels, Elaine Bolt is endlessly inspired by the Sussex coast and landscape.
She frequently returns to her Brighton studio with pockets full of obscure items scavenged from the strand line, their original purpose lost to the pounding of the sea. Walks in the woods turn up acorn cups, lichen and gnarled twigs. All become objects of contemplation on her workbench, and some find their way into her compositions. They make her look at the details, she explains, to ‘look closely at the edges’, seeking to impart their qualities into the surface of the clay, or the form of the pieces.
Elaine works with a combination of porcelain, oxide-stained clay and stoneware – often left unglazed – reflecting the hues of Sussex chalk, stone and flint. She uses the endless possibilities of the clay to draw out her story, to reveal something. She then combines these hand-crafted elements with other materials and found objects, creating unique pieces that are both inspired by, and born of, the local landscape.
Now assembled, they retain all their intrigue – utensils with no particular use, kits for some unknown purpose – blurring the boundaries between the made and the found.
See Elaine's latest work, alongside oil paintings by Susan Ashworth, in their joint exhibition The Nature of Things. Open daily at Atelier Beside the Sea from October 20th until November 27th.