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Celebrating Surrey arts festival with Metal Monkeys

PUBLISHED: 18:58 31 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:59 20 February 2013

Celebrating Surrey arts festival with Metal Monkeys

Celebrating Surrey arts festival with Metal Monkeys

The county's first major festival of arts and culture, Celebrating Surrey takes place this June at Loseley Park in Guildford. We chat to artist Jono Retallick of the amazing Surrey-based cast iron sculptors, Metal Monkeys, who will be taking part

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine March 2010

The countys first major festival of arts and culture, Celebrating Surrey takes place this June at Loseley Park in Guildford. Each month in the lead-up to the event, we meet some of the people taking part, and this time we chat to artist Jono Retallick of the amazing Surrey-based cast iron sculptors, Metal Monkeys

So tell us a bit about yourselves?
Based in Farnham, our work is primarily in sculpture. All four Metal Monkeys artists, Debi Retallick, Vincent Jack, Mandie Saw and I, work with cast iron as a process but each of us works in different disciplines.

My work is concerned with childhood and play using mixed media; Debi makes work about relationships and identity in felt and mixed media; Mandie is exploring themes of faith and symbolism and works with photography, print and papier-mch; and Vince explores ideas around displacement using blacksmithing and wood and stone carving.

What do you think is most worth celebrating about the arts in Surrey?
Surrey is a county rich in talent, often hidden to many who live here but celebrated elsewhere. It will be great to celebrate this richness together and to make the county more aware of the vibrant artist community that it has. It will also be a great opportunity for networking with other artists.

Is there a Surrey artist that you particularly admire?
The Farnham-based sculptor, Richard Jack. Richards passion for his work is evident whenever you meet him; he lives and breathes it and you can feel the playfulness in it, too. He came third in last years Surrey Artist of the Year competition.

Where in Surrey do you go to seek inspiration for your work?
Waverley Abbey, near Farnham, is a particular favourite. I love the changes in the landscape as you walk along Moor Park Lane and through to the old abbey grounds. The yew tree there is a place I like to spend time thinking.

Which is your favourite exhibition space in the county?
I like the James Hockey Gallery in Farnham. It has a lovely big space and they tend to show interesting and varied work there.

Finally, will you be creating anything special for Celebrating Surrey?
We will be running mould making workshops for the general public, culminating in a live iron casting performance at the event.

  • Celebrating Surrey takes place on Saturday June 26 and Sunday 27 at the historic Loseley Park in Guildford. For more exciting Celebrating Surrey festival developments, keep an eye on surrey.greatbritishlife.co.uk


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