Period Living Magazine Interview

Willow Sculptures & Wire Sculptures in Period Living Article Feb 15On warm Sunny October day Period Living Magazine came along to Victoria's  workshop barn to create an article for their Feb 2015 Edition. The Artisan Feature is a regular article featuring an Artist or Crafts Person who works from a home studio. Victoria had a great day with Rachel Crow (editor) and Jeremy Phillips (photographer) who took over 650 photos of her weaving welding and walking!

The article is titled, The Way of the Weave - Complementing the natural environment in which they sit, the garden willow sculptures handcrafted by artist Victoria Westaway range from whimsical figures to abstract forms. 

Victoria Westaway is wrapped up against the cold in her workshop, a small 19th-century stone barn next to her former farmworker’s cottage, perched on the crest of a hill. With far-reaching views to Hay Bluff and the Black mountains to the west, and the Malvern Hills to the east, this beautiful spot in Herefordshire, ‘an isolated garret on the hill,’ as Victoria quips, is open to the full force of the elements. When the wind whistles through some of her figurative willow sculptures dotted around the garden, it is as if it is breathing life into their inanimate forms. Inside the barn, a menagerie of willow birdlife surrounds her, peeking out from behind benches or perched on ledges: owls, hens, geese, as well as wire dragonflies. ‘They are wonderfully tactile pieces. It does help if you can get a feel for the work, and the willow takes on a lovely patina as it ages,’ Victoria explains, as she teases, twists and knots pre-soaked and malleable withies (willow stems) onto the embryonic form of an owl. ‘I enjoy making pieces that work in the environment and the natural world,’ she adds.

Words rachel crow Photographs jeremy phillips

Having graduated as a theatre design student in 1999, Victoria first used this flexible and lightweight material when making puppets and fantastical costumes for various theatre companies. ‘I learned the basic willow-weaving techniques from puppet makers I worked alongside, and subsequently I’ve taught myself other basket-making skills,’ she says..

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