Saturday, 28 July 2012

Tania Long (artist)

I visited the Leaf Hall Arts Festival  last Saturday and, although there was a dance class going on upstairs, I managed to visit the Tania Long installation downstairs in Studio 2. 

 Tania is inspired by the mystical, particularly mermaids and dragons and fantasy creatures. She primarily works in watercolour, pencil and wax crayon, and also creates mixed media collages and sculptures. She was originally from Hertfordshire and, after several years in London including a BA in Illustration & Design from Harrow College, she moved to Sussex.

The Sea of Oil and Trees - A Cry For Our Oceans is a fantastical three-dimensional underwater world, which has been made entirely from recycled materials. A lot of these materials were the sort of plastic you can see littering Eastbourne beach every day so it was quite sobering to see them used to create an ocean, rather than to destroy one. Tania has been beachcombing for the project and in just one visit managed to collect three bags full - one of usable plastics and two of sheer rubbish. I spotted fish made from bottles and one made of whiskas boxes (a catfish?!), there are transparent jellyfish, various underwater plants, and a mermaid. The work is large, taking up about a quarter of the studio and was about as tall as me (I'm 5'8") so it is easy to feel drawn into the piece.

Tania will also be running a Fish & Critters workshop as part of the Leaf Hall Arts Festival. I am not sure if all the places have already been taken but contact details are below. The workshop is intended for children of 8 years and older and will give them the opportunity to make their own recycled fish and sea creatures. Materials will be provided and parents of 8-12 year old children are advised that craft knives will be used so please to supervise your child at this time!

Leaf Hall Arts Festival, Sat 21st Jul - Sun 5th Aug.
Fish & Critters workshop, Thu 2nd Aug, 10:00-12:00, £3.
Contact Gina on 078337 63698 or visit www.leafhall.co.uk

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