Stef Will

Stef Will

• 19 June 2022

‘Deep See’

I can’t tell you how happy and relieved I am that after months of hard work, it’s finally done – theToday, my sculptural work ‘Deep See’ (see below) went up in an outdoor art exhibition put on annually by Surrey Hills Art at Farnham Heath.

The show is called ‘Heathland Artworks’ and runs from 29th June until 30th of October 2022. You can take a circular walk (which takes about 45 min.) around the woods of Farnham Heath and view the twelve site-specific artworks responding to this beautiful location. You may wish to extend your trail to walk up to the viewpoint and also experience Walter Bailey’s ‘House of Invisible Hands’.

The best place to park (it’s free) is at the Rural Life Living Museum, RSPB Farnham Heath (The Reeds Road, Tilford, Farnham, GU10 2DL), just be aware that this carpark closes at 4pm each day, so your car may end up locked until the next morning if you are not out by then (which very nearly happened to me…).

My work, ‘Deep See’, consists of six tondos that seem to float just above the forest ground and lure you off the beaten track of the trail’s path, into the woods.

The work explores perception and invites the viewer to question and re-assess their sense of reality. Via the algorithmic gaze of the far-infrared, thermal lens, the trees on Farnham Heath are seen in a new, unfamiliar way, as the work makes invisible energy fields around the trees assessable to the human gaze.

In addition to the far-infrared image, if you look closely, there is also a hand-printed code on each tondo, which provides information about the exact geolocation each image was taken in, in case you want to track my path. All images were taken in these very woods, on Blue Monday 2022 (Blue Monday is usually the third Monday of every new year, which is considered the most depressing day in the calendar), contrasting with the joyous aesthetics of the images.

The organisers are asking visitors not to touch any work, but if you crouch down far enough (and use your phone’s torch…), you may even be able to take a glance at something hidden underneath the works.

While the front shows invisible energy fields surrounding forest trees, I’m also interested in the tension between immaterial energy and embodied materiality, so felt inspired to fix the holding rods with a material referencing the life force of physical embodiment, namely blood (it’s a few drops of my own blood safely embedded in resin). I also like how the hard metal sits juxtaposed to and seems to grow out of the soft fluidity of the ‘blood’.

More information on the art trail with a map and a short statement about each work can be found on the Surrey Hills Art website: