"I want my pieces to be solid enough to touch because I think that by handling something we engage more and are taken to a new level of experience. I think that’s why I’m so interested in texture, both the natural texture of burr and texture created by carving and sandblasting, all of it serves to reveal the passing of time, it draws us in to look more closely.”
Eleanor Lakelin makes vessels and sculptural forms in wood using a lathe and carving tools. She combines traditional and modern techniques to explore her fascination with her chosen material: “I am interested in the way natural elements and processes layer and colour wood and how the passage of time is etched into the fibres of the material“. By peeling back bark Lakelin reveals the organic chaos that can exist in the material itself or builds up layers of texture through carving and sandblasting. “I use the vessel form and surface pattern to explore the layers and fissures between creation and decay, the erosion of nature and our relationship to the Earth.”
The provenance of materials is of enormous importance to Lakelin and she works sustainably, only using trees felled in the British Isles. When in early 2014, for example, a great cedar tree planted at Kingston Lacy by the Duke of Wellington in 1827 had to be felled, the National Trust commissioned Lakelin to create a collection of beautiful vessels crafted from the cedar tree.
Brought up in a small village in Mid-Wales, Eleanor was a teacher in several countries in Europe and West Africa before her lifelong love of wood compelled her to retrain as a furniture-maker. She completed her training at London College of Furniture / Guildhall University in 1998, and went on to work as a cabinet maker for ten years before honing and developing her artistic practice through a series of masterclasses.
Notable awards and accolades include a nomination for the Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon Prize and The Cockpit Arts / Worshipful Company of Turners Award. Eleanor’s pieces are exhibited at select galleries and exhibitions.
The artist lives and works in South London.