Of The Earth

We are delighted to be bringing you the work of four very talented artists, who are either using the land as inspiration for their work or who are in fact fashioning new work from the clay taken from the earth. . . And here’s a little about each of them:

Charlotte Hern

Charlotte Hern is a sculptor producing portraits and figurative pieces.

Her preferred medium to use is clay going onto cast in a range of materials both traditional and manmade. She strives to capture a sense of the subject’s personality and feelings in the pieces she creates. Textures and tool marks left in the clay contribute to capturing the likeness and tone of the subject at hand.

She is proficient in the use of plaster and resins and is now exploring working in metal, bronze in particular, a medium that has a long and significant history of being used for artwork and portraiture.

Charlotte started as a commercial sculptor and modelmaker within a specialist plaster workshop in Bath, England. Here she was given a breadth of experience in the fundamentals of the creative process as well as mastering silicone mouldmaking and plaster casting. In this time she worked on large plaster architectural models & installation projects in Europe, Dubai and the USA.

Progressing on her own path in portraiture, she attended courses run by the Society of Portrait Sculptors & Malvern Hills College of Art going on to teach at the latter. Her skills in 3D perception and capturing a likeness in clay were championed, encouraging further exploration of sculpting styles as well as casting methods and materials. Charlotte now receives commissions to produce portrait busts for individuals & organizations in a range of materials including resins, cement and lost wax cast bronze.

Of The Earth

The pieces created for this show are the start of an exploration into the metamorphosis within myths, legends and religion. Through these pieces, Charlotte is looking at conveying heightened emotions ones that are not found in the traditional portraiture process.

Clytie is portrayed here in 2 forms, one in solid bronze approx half life size and the other made up of thin copper flowers one at life size the other at half life size. The standing man (yet to be named) is based on Prometheus’s first man. These themes are taken from Greek Mythology, Clytie returning to the earth and The Standing man being created from it.

Clytie’s forlorn expression and pose is influenced by the drama found in classical sculptures, hersmooth features similar to that of carved marble. This smoothness emphasises her youth and beauty at the beginning of her metamorphosis into a flower. By choosing an earthy and graduated patina this moves the piece from the Victorian period into contemporary company.


Clytie is a water nymph from Greek mythology that has been depicted to represent lost love partially in the Renaissance and Victorian period. Helios, having loved her, abandoned her for another and left Clytie deserted. She intended to win Helios back but her actions only hardened his heart against her. She sat naked, with neither food nor drink, for nine days on the rocks, staring at Helios travelling across the sky, pining. After nine days she had taken root and was transformed into a flower which turns its head always to look longingly at Helios’ chariot of the sun. The episode is most fully toldin Ovid, Metamorphoses

“She wasted away, deranged by her experience of love. Impatient of the nymphs, night and day, under the open sky, she sat dishevelled, bareheaded, on the bare earth. Without food or water, fasting, for nine days, she lived only on dew and tears, and did not stir from the ground. She onlygazed at the god’s aspect as he passed, and turned her face towards him. They say that her limbs clung to the soil, and that her ghastly pallor changed part of her appearance to that of a bloodless plant: but part was reddened, and a flower hid her face. She turns, always, towards the sun; thoughher roots hold her fast, her love remains unaltered” [Ovid, Metamorphoses IV:256-273, trans. A S Kline]

Tanya Martin

Ceramics can look stunning in an empty white room or against a blank white wall. But away from a gallery ceramics become part of our personal everyday space and can add meaning to that space and enhance it while still telling their story as objects in their own right.

Ceramic pieces can look formal or casual, be loud or quiet, feel intense or nostalgic, and will change their mood through the day or in different rooms, or with different light, or surrounded by disassociated objects and will look unique in many different settings. A single blade of grass in a pot can make it look different.

This is what inspires Tanya to work with clay. She has studied ceramics in Stroud and Bristol for the last 10 years, learning how to hand build and glaze ceramics and make them look like concrete, brick, stone and steel, using aesthetic properties of the raw materials. She originally trained in both architecture and landscape architecture and uses the disciplines of architectural rationality and control, as well as the all-encompassing principles of natural settings to make her pieces essential and elegant elements of the environment they inhabit. 

Catherine Martin with Wendy James

The pieces exhibited in Of The Earth are a collaborative project between Catherine and her mother, Wendy James. The pieces show the hills not just as a walk, or as a sequence of views in part, but as a unified sculptural form. 

Catherine Martin is a sculptor who lives and works amongst the Hills. The physical reality of the landscape around her is reflected in the tactile work she produces in both stone and paper. Her current work uses and enhances the quality, presence and integrity of the materials she works with.

Catherine trained in Fine Art Sculpture at Falmouth School of Art and Chelsea College of Art, London. To master stone as a medium she did an apprenticeship in stonemasonry at York Minster where she went on to work as a mason in the Cathedral works department for five years, making and placing complex stones for the great East Window restoration.

Recently Catherine has shown in sculpture trails at Showborough House and Hellens. This summer she will also be showing at Fresh Air, Quenington.


Instagram  @james_stonework

Wendy James is an architect who has recently come to live in Malvern. Wendy runs her own international practice, Garbers & James (GJ), based in London. Wendy is currently working in the UK, Europe and Canada, having realised many public cultural projects around the world in her career to date.

Her work at GJ often reflects and incorporates organic forms, where landscape clearly informs the structures and places she creates. A fascination with geology and native flora and fauna has drawn Wendy to the hills, developing her understanding of them through form.


Just to re-cap the timings (which can be found at the top) – the exhibition will opening on the afternoon of Sunday 26th May at 2.30pm – 4.30pm and run until Sunday 2 June at 4.30pm.

A tea-room will be open for the duration of the exhibition selling home-made cakes, snacks, teas, coffees, and other beverages.

It’s free to come and have a look around so we do look forward to welcoming you.