Eleanor Lakelin
(1965-)

Wood carver
Lives and works in London

“I peel back bark to reveal the organic chaos that can exist in the material itself and build up layers of texture through carving and sandblasting. I use the vessel form and surface pattern to explore the layers and fissures between creation and decay and the erosion of nature.”

Brought up in a rural village in Wales, Eleanor Lakelin worked on educational projects in Europe and West Africa before retraining as a cabinet maker in 1995.

Since 2011 she has concentrated on the vessel form, studying with established makers whenever possible but largely teaching herself to hollow and carve works of increasing scale and ambition. Her sculptural objects are created using a traditional woodworking lathe and centuries-old chisels and gouges alongside modern carving techniques.

Eleanor works only with trees grown in Britain, felled due to decay. A deep knowledge and a passionate interest in the natural properties of wood result in forms that seem true to the spirit of the material and which encourage us to look at the complexities of nature with a new perspective. Her work is rooted in the rhythm of growth, the eroding power of the elements and the passing of time. Material is transformed into objects that invite touch and reflection, reminding us of our elemental and emotional bond with wood and our relationship to the earth.

Eleanor’s work is exhibited internationally and included in prestigious museum and private collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Museum of London and Mint Museum, USA. She is the recipient of notable awards and commendations including a QEST Scholarship 2018, British Wood Award 2017 (Bespoke category), Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon Prize 2014 (nomination) and The Cockpit Arts / Worshipful Company of Turners Award 2011.

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