Jim Robison has created a huge ceramic daffodil that will be shown as part of Ten Thousand Daffodils at Lowther Castle in Penrith, between April and June of this year. After the exhibition, the daffodil will be auctioned off, with funds raised being donated to The Kirkwood, in memory of his long-time friend, Chris Jenkins, who died last year whilst being cared for by The Kirkwood.
Jim owns Booth House Gallery and Ceramics Studio in Holmfirth and was asked to take part in the display by organiser Helen Ratcliffe. She was inspired by the poetry of Wordsworth and his celebration of the daffodils on the shores of Ullswater. She came up with an idea to create a display of 10,000 daffodils that will be on display from now until June. The project aims to raise £300,000 for six main charities, with the funds from the auction also supporting many other charities throughout the country.
The project has brought communities together, with businesses, schools and volunteers getting involved to build, fire, glaze, and plant 10,000 ceramic daffodils as described in the famous poem by William Wordsworth.
Jim who was born and educated in the USA, moved to Yorkshire in 1972, where he established the Booth House Gallery and Ceramics Studio, Jim’s work is usually slab built and slip decorated. Often working to commission, including large-scale sculpture and architectural ceramics, Jim enjoys an experimental approach to making, combining construction techniques with unusual surface textures created through multiple layers of clay and colourful glazes.
Jim explained his excitement at being involved in the project and why he feels it is important to support The Kirkwood with the funds raised from the auction.
He said: “My daffodil has been coloured with glazes that represent spring and new growth to me. Earthy colours, with blues and greens, tell of the passing of winter and the movement into early spring. Some of the glazes include wood ashes collected from local plants and clays. These help to anchor the work in a natural environment.
“It’s called the harbinger and I am really pleased with how it’s turned out; I think the project Helen has created is fantastic and I hope it raises a lot of money for the charities as a lot of time and effort has gone into the project by lots of people.”
On why he wanted to support The Kirkwood, he added: “I moved here in the 1970s and over that time I have made a lot of friends here. Sadly, a number of those have now died and some of them were cared for by The Kirkwood. It was sad to lose Chris last year because I had known him for nearly 50 years. He was a great man, very clever and knew his field extremely well, I would often ask him for advice, and we would have conversations and debates which I really enjoyed.
“The care that The Kirkwood provide is so important to the community of Kirklees and I have a huge amount of respect for everyone who works within the charity. I am proud to be able to raise some funds for The Kirkwood through this project and hopefully my daffodil will go for a good amount of money.”
Everyone at The Kirkwood would like to thank Jim for his efforts and would like to say a huge well done to him for his magnificent and beautiful creation.
Check out the ten thousand daffodil’s website here: tenthousanddaffodils.org/product/harbinger
Jim and Chris Jenkins’ work will be shown at the Holmfirth art week between July 2nd – July 8th.