Rebecca Newnham MA(RCA) FRBS
Rebecca Newnham works predominately as a sculptor and designer. Current work illustrates scientific ideas such as waves of energy and sound. Her materials lead approach is informed by an understanding of glass, bronze, concrete, fiberglass. She is a skilled maker and usually creates her own work, sometimes with assistants. The sculpture is iconic and can be static or kinetic: some float or suspend or rotate.
Rebecca’s sculptures often have a glass skin. Light reflecting from this faceted glass surface changes as the viewer moves through the space adding to the impact of the work. Handmade glass is cut, polished and applied to wrap seamlessly around the form.
Early years saw an exploration of botanical form and a celebration of life cycles with sculptures that consider growth, propagation, seed distribution, pollen. This subject matter developed to celebrate flight, energy and transference of matter.
Currently Rebecca is working on Surge, a 4m tall installation of 3, 4m tall forms and a water vapour unit; the commission is about how water likes to move. Talbot Heath School in Bournemouth are about to open a new design hub and place art at the heart of their curriculum. They advocate STEAM education: science, technology, engineering, art and maths. It opens in Spring 2019 and will be accompanied by films by Professor Jeff Baggot from AUB, an exhibition about process and a collaborative sculpture, dance and film temporary installation with Lizzie Sykes of BU and Dr Cathy Seago of Winchester University.
Recent projects include a commissioned floating sculptural installed at Easter 2018. LilyPads are 5 floating forms each anchored and allowed to float within a circumference. Each Pad is a different colour representing a different flower found in the gardens. The Himalayan Gardens has sculpture as well as 3 lakes and a newly planted arboretum. It has extensive plant collections and this recent commission reflects the qualities of the waxy flowers of the magnolias, rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas associated with the ericaceous soil of the estate, which suits these plants of eastern origin so well.
Facets is a collection of 30 glass bowls created in response to Victorian social history and architecture of the Russell-Cotes Museum. Facets traveled to the Himalayan Gardens in 2018. North Yorkshire has plenty of Victorian vernacular architecture and the collection is very much at home here.
Rebecca Newnham first exhibited in Salisbury Cathedral in 2010 and co curated Reflection at Salisbury Cathedral in 2016. Nine artists who work with glass, including Rebecca, were invited respond to the context of the space.
In December 2015 Rebecca moved to Bournemouth and built a new studio very close to the sea in early 2016. The digital arts community in Bournemouth became an influence and, her collaboration with film maker, Lizzie Sykes. The two met at an inaugural exhibition at Rebecca’s new studio and house, which included the work of other artists and makers. By projecting film onto sculpture, they are challenging the concept of the screen and encouraging active, 360 degree viewing on the move with an exciting creative collaboration celebrating sculpture, glass, film, dance. as part of 2017 Inside Art to include a performative collaboration of sculpture, film, and dance.
Rebecca’s studio explores reuse of glass bottles crushed as an aggregate in concrete or fused in a kiln. Years of research lead to exciting commissions reusing glass bottles to create cast artworks in 2015 and 2016, reusing glass to create artworks from glass with historical relevance, such as glass that was once employed in the Russell-Cotes Museum, donated to Rebecca to create new work to be displayed there. Soar is a sculpture cast in editions in bronze or with glass aggregate. It follows on from a series of work about flight and the energy required to elevate. The glass aggregate casts reuse imploded and graded bottle glass, sourced locally, in place of other aggregate; the glass sparkles in the light. HSBC have one in their collection.
One of Rebecca’s floating works is Wave, a 15m installation, which was commissioned for a private lake in Yorkshire in 2013 and considers the ever-increasing volume of information which invisibly surrounds us. The five sections have an internal steel structure, have a highly polished red surface and are invisibly chained together and anchored to allow the work to respond to wind and water flow. Wave is red because in the colour spectrum, red appears at this wavelength.
Rebecca Newnham was elected a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors at the end of 2016
In October 2016 Rebecca became a Trustee of Bournemouth Lower Gardens Committee
1991 Royal College of Art MA (RCA) Glass
2018 Launch installed in Regents Place from May -December with ARTIQ
2018 Walled Garden, Moreton, curated by Sandy Kirkby
2018 Facets at Himalayan Gardens
2017 Facets at Russell-Cotes, Bournemouth, artist response in 30 glass bowls to the Victorian museum and collections, displayed on the plate racks in the house. Solo show.
2016 Reflection, Salisbury Cathedral, cocurator and exhibitor on an exhibition of 9 artists who work with glass in site specific response to the Cathedral
2016 Sculpture at Doddington Hall
2015 National Trust Lacock Abbey, Frozen, a glass show in the grounds.
2014-2015 Horatio’s Garden, Salisbury, in association with the Garden Gallery, solo installation.
2014 Visionary Landscape, a group show curated by Helaine Blumenfeld at Leicester Botanical Gardens.
2014 Kinetic Bournemouth curated and managed by AUB undergraduates as part of their degree
2013 Andipa Gallery, Knightsbridge, solo show, ‘Energy Principle’
2012 Sabrina Landini Gallery, Pietrasanta, Italy, a group exhibition curated by Sabrina Landini.
2012 The Figure in the Landscape, Winchester. Group exhibition with Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Peter Randall Page, Emily Young, curated by Rachel Bebb
2010 Liminality at Salisbury Cathedral, 8 artists response to the theme and the space. Curated by Jacquiline Creswell
2008 Photosynthesis. Hillier Gardens, solo exhibition, body of work resulting from collaboration with the gardens.
2007 Light and Significant Numbers, Highcliffe castle, Christchurch, Dorset. Work in castle grounds and old library. David Bird’s photographs of Rebecca’s sculpture in significant sea and landscape.
The Garden Gallery, Broughton, Hampshire
AWARDS & ACQUISITIONS
2018 Vermeer panels number 5 and 8 acquired for a private collection
2017 Vermeer panels added to private collections
2016 Elected a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors
2015 HSBC acquired sculpture for headquarters
2015 Heineken Iconic Design Challenge, a global competition to design art work elements in recycled glass a series of bars in Birmingham
2013 Spotlight Award. RBS and Andipa Gallery in collaboration; resulting in a solo show at Andipa Gallery and Strata at the Saatchi Gallery.
2010 MRBS. Associate of the Royal British Society of Sculptors
2006 Museumaker Project. Collaboration with Arts Council England and Charles Rennie Mackintosh Museum, Northampton
2006 Museumaker Project commission, with Arts Council England and New Walk Museum, Leicester.
2018 LilyPads, a floating sculptural installation commissioned for a 3rd lake at the Himalayan Gardens, Ripon
2017 Vermeer 7 a 3-dimensional hand painted glass wall panel for a private home
2017 Vermeer 4, a 3-dimensional hand painted glass wall panel for a private home
2014-2016 Heineken commissioned artworks for bars and clubs created from Heineken bottles
2015 Commissioned to create a portrait of the Queen to celebrate her status as the longest reigning monarch by Horlicks GSK
2014 3 Lotus sculptures commissioned for a private garden in Dubai
2012-13 Wave a 15m Floating Sculptural Installation For A Lake At The Himalayan Gardens In North Yorkshire; Installed In April 2013. BBC News coverage of installations.
2013 MGM Resorts commissioned Dancers, a pair of 3.5m tall sculptures for Aria Casino, Las Vegas. Dancers are still in transit and are expected to arrive any day.
2011 JWT and Kenco commissioned a series of 8 sculptures which were exhibited in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool. A Facebook campaign decided the final homes of the 8 sculptures.
2011 Quercus Rober, 2.5m tall group of sculptures for the gardens of LOROS in Leicester, exhibited before installation at Hampton Court Flower Show. BBC News coverage.
2011 Fledge Uplift, 450mm tall, bronze. Following on from ‘Fledge; increments of Flight’ as exhibited in Salisbury Cathedral, a further sculpture considering flight and the liminal journey was cast in bronze.
2010 Magnolia: 2m diameter sculpture, floats in a lake at the Himalayan Gardens in North Yorkshire.
2009 Chris Beardshaw and Ness Botanical Gardens commissioned Bulleyana for a garden exhibited at Tatton Park before installation at Ness Gardens. Followed Chelsea Flower show garden exhibition.
2008 Elstone Hayes commissioned Frondis, a 13m tall atrium installation for Royal Caribbean’s ‘Sovereign’.
2007 Elstone Hayes commissioned 7 sculptures for Cunard’s new Queen Victoria Cruise ship: White Grass and Dancers
2007 Two groups of sculpture Taxus and DNA Seedlings, for private gardens, Cambridge
2007 Lotos sculpture for private home in Italy.
2007 Two sculptures, Kalyptos and Akalyptos, for a roof terrace at London’s Barbican.