Sculpture 30 artist of the month February: Tanya Axford.

Sculpture 30 artist of the month for February has been the brilliant Tanya Axford.


Tanya Axford

I first met Tanya back in November when we hosted Shipley Lates with the Shipley Art Gallery which was a great way for people to engage with artists and have a go at a variety of arts activities whilst enjoying a glass of wine (or two) with friends! If you didn’t manage to catch that one, I highly suggest you make sure you get a ticket for the next one!


Tanya ran a workshop creating sculptural necklaces that transform ordinary materials, to create geometric origami forms and combine them with cable ties, to produce beautiful wearable sculptural forms.

Tanya is a practising visual artist in the North East and has been for over 10 years. She is another resident artist at Workplace Gallery Gateshead too! See, I told you in my last post how much of a gem Workplace is, you HAVE to visit it.

axford - babels folly 2001

Babels Folly (2001) – Tanya Axford

Tanya creates sculptural installations, performances and video work, that focus particularly on the development of performative sculptures and drawings. She often uses multiples of everyday items, her works are often site-specific, making installations and interventions for both the gallery space and the landscape. Using mass-produced and familiar materials she manipulates, challenges and transforms them into temporary works, systematically fulfilling their latent potential with unique and playful results. She describes her work as ‘concerned with the creation of opulent, striking and immersive environments, firmly grounded in reality’.

Axford Sods lawn 2001

Sod’s Lawn (2001) – Tanya Axford

I caught up with Tanya a week ago and I asked her what her inspiration to keep creating is?

My inspiration often comes from the qualities and characteristics of materials, and moments of change where one thing transforms into another. I love the creative and unexpected use of materials in objects and artworks, and the possibilities created by combinations of materials and technology.”

This February saw Gateshead Culture Team work with Tanya twice; firstly for a performance piece of storytelling for children aged 3-6years old about an acorns adventure. Our Caedmon Hall, at Gateshead Central Library, was transformed into a magical world in which immersive sold out performances could take place.


In A NutShell set 2016

Tanya worked with Alison McGowan and Elena Miller of Puppetship to bring In a Nutshell to life and to design and make the set. It was fantastically quirky, simple materials were used and transformed into a set that was quite dramatic and our audience of captivated little ones loved it and told me on leaving how “magical” it had been.


In a NutShell performance 2016

Our second, working with Tanya was for a Set Design workshop in which participants could learn how to create their own imaginative, theatrical world. This workshop was a unique experience for young people in Gateshead, to experience theatre through a different perspective; a sculptural and visual arts perspective.

Participants worked with Tanya how to work with different materials and the layering effect to build a multidimensional shell. The young people attending loved the experience and we are hoping to run another workshop like it in the future; as it was a huge success.


Set Design Workshop 2016 (participant’s work)

What a busy February for Tanya and us – 2016 is shaping up to be a hive of activity! So as we say goodbye to February, we say farewell to our February Sculpture 30 artist of the month! I can’t wait to see what she gets up to next….

Coming next Sculpture 30 artist of the Month March: Ed Carter……