Found in the Fields

Found in the Fields, Kathryn Parsons

In 2014, Kathryn created a series of artworks inspired by poet John Clare and the plants and lichens that now grow in places that he loved. Initially shown as interventions in the John Clare Cottage Museum, the artworks culminated in the planting of over 100 porcelain plants in Clare’s garden.

"I Found the Poems in the Fields" (detail) porcelain plants by Kathryn Parsons

"I Found the Poems in the Fields" (detail) porcelain plants by Kathryn Parsons

Clare had a deep affinity with his local countryside and even said that he found his poems in the fields. Though he died over 150 years ago, through his poetry he is renowned for his ability to notice even the small things in his environment - from the golden beads of primrose buds to the soft fur on the underside of a leaf. He enjoyed collecting things that he found while out walking, and hunting for unusual plants in the woods and fields near his home. Sometimes he would bring these plants home, to plant in his garden.

Found in the Fields2, intervention at John Clare Cottage, Kathryn Parsons

Kathryn’s work reflects these aspects of Clare’s character, and their shared love of the small details in nature. She selected three places that Clare loved, and over the course of three months visited each one twice a week, getting to know the locations and their botany. Through intricate porcelain sculptures, photography and collections of found objects, “Found in the Fields” tells of the character of those three places and their delicate woodland flowers, branches covered in lichen and bold architectural plants.

The full album of photographs tracked the changing season from spring to early summer.

Found in the Fields1, Kathryn Parsons

Swaddywell 7th May, Kathryn Parsons, one of a collection of photographs of finds

In 2016, Kathryn updated the series for a solo exhibition at The National Centre for Craft and Design.

"Found in the Fields" was created for "UnEarthed: John Clare", an arts residency and touring exhibition supported by the Arts Council, the John Clare Trust, Metal, and Vivacity.

"I Found the Poems in the Fields" (detail) by Kathryn Parsons