The Meles Meles Badger Exhibition 2019 opens at A2 Gallery in Wells, Somerset on 8 July 2019 and runs until 27 July 2019.
The European badger, Meles Meles, is one of Britain’s most popular animals. However, because of its nocturnal nature and distrust of humans, it is rarely seen in the wild. This special exhibition is entirely focussed on this one species, and seeks to dispel some of the negative press that surrounds this elusive animal.
I recently had the opportunity to observe badgers at a special site in Devon, where the badgers are slightly habituated to the presence of humans. This allowed me to see how the animals interact with each other and observe natural behaviour, such as foraging and grooming. The badgers were always checking for danger, ears and noses twitching for any sign of alarm.
For my contribution to the Meles Meles Badger Exhibition 2019 I wanted to convey some of the behaviour I had observed in the wild. I hope this will help people relate to the animals as individuals, and perhaps think a little more deeply about the badger and its place in our countryside.
As part of the promotion for the exhibition, wildlife filmmakers Amanda Barrett and Owen Newman, came to visit me in my studio in Devon. Amanda and Owen have previously worked with Sir David Attenborough, so this was very exciting for me. They filmed me making a badger sculpture from its initial construction to final Raku firing. They also interviewed me about what motivated me to make the badger sculptures.
Their film, which includes footage and interviews of various artists, will be aired at the private view (by invitation only) on Monday 8 July. The film will also be circulating on social media over the next few weeks. You can find it on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.