Nicky Carvell’s stunning modern sculptures inspired by JMW Turner classic paintings

Artist Nicky Carvell unveiled a pair of sculptures at Sandycombe Lodge on Sunday inspired by landscape artist J.M.W. Turner.  

Both works were the culmination of a six-month residency sponsored by The National Lottery Heritage Fund designed to preserve the home’s artistic legacy.

The punk-influenced artist said her sculptures Solus Lodge and Moon Dial were heavily inspired by Turner’s fascination with light and colour as well as the 19th century house itself.

Nicky said: “I have focused on the house’s original name ‘Solus Lodge’ which references the power of the sun and Turner’s reported final words ‘the sun is God’, as this chimes with my own fascination with light and its astronomical sources from the heavens.”

The two installations are acrylic pieces set in pink-hued granite and feature photos of the lodge’s interiors alongside playful, abstract brushstrokes.

They exploit the translucent nature of the vinyl, allowing sunlight to pass through the sculptures and project ever-changing kaleidoscopic patterns onto the ground below.

Nicky, 36, from Hackney, East London, pictured above with Moon Dial, explained she was inspired by Turner’s painting Fisherman at Sea which gave the appearance of moonlight sparkling off the water’s surface to create Moon Dial.

She added: “As the lodge is situated near the river, I wanted to maintain the nautical theme and ensure that this interaction with nature was apparent in my work in an abstract manner.”

Honorary Patron of Turner’s House Trust Catherine Parry-Wingfield said: “I am really struck by the way Nicky has played with the ideas of light as well as the elements of the house.

“What Nicky has brought into this house is fun and we do know that Turner himself liked to have fun.”

While the sculptures’ curves mirror the rounded forms found in the boats Turner often painted, the installations include motifs from the lodge such as the laylight and the floral arrangements visible in the Ottoman rugs.

Sandycombe Lodge, St Margarets, was completed in 1813 and was initially designed by Turner as a rural retreat from the bustle of the London art world.

Nicky, like Turner, studied at the Royal Academy Schools where she completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art in 2009.

Curator of the Royal Academy Schools Eliza Bonham Carter said: “We are incredibly thankful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Turner’s House trustees for having come up with such a brilliant idea to reconnect the RA school and contemporary artists with Turner and his history.”

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Image courtesy: Lucinda MacPherson

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