Fracture II (marquetry mirror)
Veneers on MDF: Sapele, dyed Pama, maple, reconstructed wood veneers. Hardwood edging: maple.
120 cm h x 97 cm w
Signed and dated on reverse, veneered logo fixed to reverse
Christine Meyer-Eaglestone creates wall-based artworks and ‘functional pieces of art’ with a marquetry surface. She studied fine art at graduate level followed later by an MA in Sculpture and after thirteen years of teaching left to concentrate on her own practice. Prompted by a passion for furniture, interior and architectural design she enrolled on a cabinetmaking course where she developed her own method of creating designs with wood veneers, recognising the space that marquetry could occupy as a contemporary visual medium. The award of a Crafts Council Setting up Grant in 2001 enabled her to establish a workshop where she creates her unique pieces. In 2003 a selection of her screens and other items provided a contemporary element to a major exhibition of historic marquetry pieces at the Bowes Museum, County Durham, entitled: ‘The Art of Marquetry – Painting in Wood’.
Most of Christine’s pieces, including wall-based artworks, screens, mirrors and sideboards are speculative and made for exhibitions. She sometimes works to commission with interior designers, and very occasionally has collaborated with other cabinetmakers.
Christine doesn’t visualise a design on paper other than a very rough sketch, preferring instead to think through making/cutting. This process starts by surrounding herself with a large selection of conventional, dyed and ‘reconstructed’ wood veneers (manufactured in Italy, often from fast growing poplar) providing multiple colour and grain choices. She continues by hand-cutting the veneers into geometric forms and inserting them straight into a background veneer (often working from the inside out) using tape to join elements and this process allows her to let relationships of form, colour, organic pattern and space evolve. The compositions she creates grow intuitively while seeking to construct alternative visual spaces. Decisions made are by no means final and invariably areas are eliminated and replaced. As much time is spent deliberating as is cutting and inserting, making the process akin to that of building up a painting – a ‘painting in wood’.
Structure, enhanced by manipulating line, edge, colour and organic pattern is central to Christine’s designs which range from minimal to complex and can either convey a sense of calm or one of tension. Essential elements in her compositions are balance, rhythm, harmony or discord and dynamic growth.
Christine’s work is often directly influenced by architectural elements and the movements and feelings invoked by a piece of music. She draws inspiration from early 20th century art and design, in particular Cubism, Constructivism, Bauhaus etc. and admires the minimalism, calm and elegance of Japanese design.
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