Spencer Fung is exhibiting a new show, titled Seed of Hope, at Bamford Barn in Gloucestershire and the Bamford shop in Mayfair, with dates to be released soon. The show features works in clay and graphite, hand-stitched collages, and botanical samples collected by Fung on his walks through nature. The show, commissioned by Carole Bamford, coincides with a front cover feature in the second volume of Seed.
‘As my collection of seeds from woods and fields grows, I realise I am becoming a naturalist,’ writes Spencer Fung in Seed. ‘Every pine cone or seed pod is intricate and beautiful, each one a unique biodegradable sculpture bursting with reproductive potential.’ Some of the seeds in his collection appear in the show, while others act as a point of departure for paintings in clay. ‘I find myself responding to nature with abstract gestures. Often these are sweeping, circular shapes – symbolic of seeds, new birth, and the cycle of regeneration,’ says Fung. ‘In Chinese culture, a circle is the symbol of fullness and perfection; I like to think of these works as halos reflecting imperfect perfection.’
Fung often uses soil and other materials for pigment in his paintings, applying it with clumps of moss and other found natural objects. The clay he uses in Seed of Hope is a mixture of Jurassic blue clay gathered from the coast of Dorset, and light golden clay dug by hand from a quarry in the Cotswolds, revealing streaks of both hues in the final mix. For these works, Fung used recycled cotton rag paper, made from waste material from the fashion industry, as his canvas. ‘I tend to choose non-toxic, organic, biodegradable materials,’ he says. ‘This helps me engage with, and delight in, the natural world. I like the thought that my work is part of a cycle of creation and degradation, leaving no harmful impact on the environment.’
Words: Ollie Horne
Photos: Martin Morrell