Artist Carne Griffiths is turning The Stone Space into a garden of paradise - and you're all invited

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Artist Carne Griffiths is turning The Stone Space into a garden of paradise - and you're all invited Artist Carne Griffiths is turning The Stone Space into a garden of paradise - and you're all invited

When I speak to artist Carne Griffiths he is approaching the halfway point of a huge work in the Stone Space, Leytonstone.

I’ve been watching his progress since last week via a webcam broadcasting live on the internet. Others have been watching him too, either online, through the glass window of the gallery or even more closely, sitting beside him with a cup of tea while he works.

For Eden Carne has been using ink and tea to draw his distinctive plant forms while visitors bring in plants and foliage to inspire him.

With all eyes on him, doesn’t he get distracted?

“I like the distraction,“ he explains, “one of the things that interests me about making lines and drawings is what happens when your mind is distracted.

“It’s almost like when you doodle. It comes from somewhere, it’s not a planned thing but it’s an instinctive mark. Just talking to you now I’ve drawn three or five leaves on the paper and there’s not much recollection of doing it.“

Why did he decide to work so openly?

“People are interested in the process too, not just the artwork but how it is made. With any craft it’s interesting to see how you arrive at the finished result.

“It’s been really engaging. We’ve had people travelling to see it – students and local people. A lovely old lady, who’s been living here since 1940, sat in for an afternoon, just chatting. It’s been a very positive experience. It keeps you going as well, gives you a renewed energy.“

Carne will be working in the gallery until March 11 where the work will be transferred to the nearby Slate window space, formerly Waltham Forest Direct.

Until then the artist is urging visitors to drop in and bring him their plants.

“It would be great to really fill this space with plants,“ adds Carne, "you can take them back at the end - we have a trowel!"

Eden is at The Stone Space, Church Lane, Leytonstone on Thursday 2pm to 10pm, Friday 2pm to 6pm, Saturday 2pm to 10pm and Sunday noon to 4pm. Details: www.carnegriffiths.com

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