Monday, 15 September 2014

For Ed

I did not know Ed but I made a sculpture of him in wax then made a mold and then cast it into bronze and when I looked through the lens as I photographed him, I saw him for the first time, and I saw that he was not with us anymore.

Meningitis took him away from his parents, from his friends and from his future. The meningitis left grief that will remain. It left containers of grief, that spill when jostled or knocked.

The containers are made of egg shells and are so fragile they are almost transparent.

But in time the shells of the eggs will thicken, they will become stronger. The grief will not shrink, it will just be more tightly contained, allowing the shells to move about with more courage. One day they will feel that they can engage freely again with life and they will not break.


Ed was a peer mentor at his school and this is in memory of him to give as an award each year to the best peer mentor for years to come.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Chinese whispers

Chinese whispers _ Carol Peace Poetry Competition

Encouraging the freedom to find words

For me this dialogue between words and sculpture started many years ago with a poets visit to my open studio. John Terry wrote a few poems including ‘Listen’ that made me look again, the figure had a new story, a new life.

Sculpture can be like this. Maybe its just a suggestion to a thought, a step, a bridge to another story, I have my ideas but like chinese whispers the message is often reformed through other eyes.

Words are like this also, I listen to poetry or the prose in a song and it ignites something in me and I respond. Docket is in response to a Caitlin Rose song. The piece Man with Mouth Open is in response to the famous poem by Stevie Smith*. There was something in their words that resonated with me so I responded, I moved on the story.

I too like to play with words and I write terrible poetry but I don’t mind, its just when I can’t describe it in clay I use words, as Joan MirĂ³ said “I am neither a printmaker or a painter but someone who tries to express himself with all available means". 

This competition is about that freedom. Its about enjoying words no matter the skill level, I can’t spell and my grammar is shocking but I look and I see, and like an observational drawing I react to whats in front of me. Imagination is left for sculpture but my writing is like drawing, when you start looking you see more.

I do try to make my words good, it is not about not trying, but it is about not being afraid to start, its about the freedom to express ourselves, without a bit of confidence and a bit of freedom we can not start to be the best we can be. As John Terry said about my work back in 2006 “They are first of all, real people. They yearn but they also give. They rise, they don't fall. They strive; are eternal optimists. They look perhaps slightly disorientated, but there is no pleasure in falling, or in giving up, so they keep on. 'For us there is only the trying’ "

Competition Details
Write a piece of poetry or prose in response to a sculpture or group of sculptures at Carol’s Open Studio 6 - 16th November 2104
Or if you are not local to Bristol or find it difficult to get to the show then use these four sculptures for inspiration.
Love, Standing in the Wind, Personal Balloon and May
The prize is, of course, firstly the completion of your own poem, and secondly the winner of each of the three categories will receive a sculpture made to celebrate The Reading Agency.
Most loved poem any age by online voting system
Under 18
Under 12
Age limit - Under 18 - submit online with an optional donation to The Reading Agency
Closing Date - 30th November
Voting online and judging 1st - 14th December
Winners announced - 15th December
To be announced
The sculpture - made to celebrate The Reading Agency will be similar to the pictures below and 20% of all sales will go to The Reading Agency throughout the Open Studio event either online or at the show.



* if you listen to the wonderful clip of her speaking you will hear that she used her own drawings "Another thing I like doing with my poems is to illustrate them: I draw a lot and often a drawing will suggest a poem - it is often that way about. "- See more at:

**JOHN TERRY is interested in industrial archeology, bridges, and sunken wrecks. He believes that life consists of oddly-shaped pieces of rusty metal and sees poetry as an attempt to get all the rivet-holes to line up. He’s won two slams, four open poetry competitions and has been published in a number of otherwise respectable magazines including Acumen, Magma, and Smith’s Knoll. His narrative poem Insecurity Report is published by Driftwood and his collection Building Wings by City Chameleon.


Press Release

An exhibition of new work made in and inspired by 6 months in Barcelona.

Carol’s work has often traveled the globe. Four life-size bronzes were recently installed in Barbados; her work is collected in Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as the United States and Canada. Closer to home, she shows in Stockholm and Frankfurt, and has had solo shows in The Netherlands, France, Marbella, Athens and Zurich. Carol spent some time painting in Lagrasse, France in 2011 but never before has she taken herself off for 6 months solely to look and work.

“Although you take yourself with you, you leave a lot of your history behind, there is a freedom to that.”

Returning home she brings back with her some of the freedom that she found there in this new and unique body of work. 

“These are the sculptures of my imagination, set free by Catalonia.”

After an incredible year of exhibitions the work now comes home to the studio. There is something special about an open studio, this is her home, this is where the work moves on, where thoughts, not just finished works, are laid open to see. She comes back to Bristol to her 22 years of sculpting history, stories from past works swirl around, there is an identity and a grounding to that but distance can bring clarity.

“Like a leather glove holds the memory of a particular hand, I fit snuggly and happily back into my history and into the changing seasons of our life here, but wherever I live, I always want to remain a tourist, wide eyed and stumbling" 

Open Studio - Bristol Barcelona
6 - 16th November 2014
Private View Thursday 6th November 6 - 9pm
Unit 5.3 Paintworks, Bath Road, Bristol, BS4 3EH
Monday – Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm Sunday 11am – 5pm
Information: 07989515172

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Words night

The preparation for the show in Cambridge is nearing completetion and my thoughts turn back to the studio and to words. Met with Judy and Natalia yesterday and discussed our 'lit night' the spark of which was the story Judy wrote from an open studio in 2011.


The hot afternoon sun is making Chloe drowsy. She blinks, focusing her eyes on the path of a bumblebee drifting from one clover bloom to another. The scent of honeysuckle and chlorine mingles in the air. A faint trickle of sweat slowly wriggles its way from her scalp to the space between her shoulder blades. Her book is still lying on the other side of the lawn in the shade her twin cousins dragged her from when they cast her in the role of umpire.
The game of draughts is the third challenge of the day, following a venomous tennis match, won by Amandine, and a swimming race won by Blake. She can see the pool water drying on their bronzed, over-privileged limbs and remembers something her mother once said, about how, the higher up society you go, the thinner the veneer of civilisation, like oxygen on a mountain peak, stretched brittle and insubstantial over the bloodlust.
“You’re cheating!” Amandine’s voice rings out. “Chloe, he’s cheating! He put it in his mouth!”
Chloe sighs and rouses herself. “Blake, is it true? Open your mouth.”
Obligingly he does so, sticking out his tongue, the disk balanced on it like a rosy indigestion tablet. His eyes are laughing as he plucks the draught piece between finger and thumb, dropping it onto the board like something disdainful – he knows full well that his sister won’t touch it now it’s tainted with his spittle.
“Game to Amandine,” Chloe decides, and the cousins erupt into shrieks of glee and outrage.
Next on the agenda is rhetoric, and Chloe feels her skin tighten with dread, imaging the barbed words waiting to be unfurled and flung.

Author bio: Judy Darley is a travel journalist and fiction writer. Previously she’s had fiction published by literary magazines and anthologies including The View From Here, Gemini Magazine, ‘Crab Lines from the Pier’ and ‘The Love of Looking’. Her travel writing has appeared in magazines, on websites and in ‘1001 Retreats to Make Before You Die’, published by Penguin. Recent journeys include visits to Slavonia, Iona and Tunisia. She tweets at