The Festival Chair 2014 ~ Glemham I
Over the past few months Alex Johnson – recipient of the first farm residency award in January 2014 – has been working on a magnificent oak chair. Carved from a single large oak stump, the chair is now a centrepiece in the farm’s old Threshing Barn. Given the name Glemham I by Alex, it stands at the head of an oak table top made by Michael Pritchard-Barrett. Two bronzes of deer heads by Laurence Edwards stand on the table and the chair is surrounded by a series of new sea paintings by Maggi Hambling.
Despite the weight and solidity of the the Festival Chair, Alex has fashioned a piece that appears fluid in its form – like a splash in wood, or petals. Made over a period of 6 months from a butt of brown oak from Great Glemham, the chair is a seminal work in this year’s Festival Exhibition. Surrounded by Akenfield chairs [made by Tim Whiting], Sandlings [by Jim Parsons] and Raymond Hopkin’s Suffolk Long Benches, it looks at home in the barns – in good wooden company !