Hair-raising sculpture is the mane focus of Uttlesford artist’s new exhibition

Artist Valerie Inns works on her 16ft sculpture made from animal hair at the University of Herts

Artist Valerie Inns works on her 16ft sculpture made from animal hair at the University of Herts - Credit: Archant

A 16ft hair-raising sculpture – created by an Uttlesford artist and made entirely of animal hair – is the centrepiece of an exhibition aimed at connecting people’s bodies to the materials on display.

Artist Valerie Inns stands in front of her 16ft sculpture made from animal hair at the University of

Artist Valerie Inns stands in front of her 16ft sculpture made from animal hair at the University of Herts - Credit: Archant

Valerie Inns has spent months putting together her show, Substratum, at the prestigious University of Hertfordshire Galleries. The artist, who lives in Duck End, Stebbing, is fascinated by materials and relishes the process of transforming them into artworks.

Plaster, cardboard, paper and plant seeds are some of her favourites.

Valerie, who creates objects that entice people to touch and explore, encouraging a physical response to their surfaces, said: “I work with materials which are really inspiring, and it is about finding a way of making them eloquent for people – it is a bit like poetry.”

Speaking about her thought-process behind the 16ft wall-mounted sculpture, she said: “I always use hair. Artists tend to use the material they have available. The gallery is very industrial and I have tried to draw with the hair to try and bend the wall.”


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The mother-of-two spent four months as a resident artist within the School of Creative Arts, funded by Arts Council England. During this time Val researched how other disciplines across the University of Hertfordshire used and thought about materials.

This inspired her to create the pieces for her next exhibition, opening on Friday and running until October 18, which are designed to challenge the industrial architecture of the gallery space.

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“The pieces are quite large,” she added. “This is an opportunity for me to bring to reality things that are a different scale. Sometimes, because of the scale, the work has been a bit overwhelming and can be very tedious.

“For me it is very ambitious but it is just wonderful to see it coming to life.”

Val, who has been working as an artist full time for more than 10 years, hopes visitors to the exhibition will find a connection with the material on display.

To find out more about Val visit valinns.co.uk.

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