I've always loved visiting artists' studios and living spaces - Barbara Hepworth's studio in St Ives, and César Manrique's homes in Lanzarote come to mind as some of the most inspiring places I've been to. It's not just the textures, the materials, or the glimpse into 'behind-the-scenes' that I love; I also find it fascinating to see how an artist's work and creative vision spills over into his or her home and garden. And so it was a pleasure recently to have the opportunity to photograph artist Jim Tucker's unique home and studio in rural Surrey.
Jim's studio, attached to his house, is a treasure trove filled to the rafters with metal springs, pieces of wire mesh, broken toys, crushed cans, machine parts and fragments of wood: discarded, abandoned objects gathered from beaches, skips and building sites. It's with these pieces that he creates his art, assemblages inspired by an aesthetic of urban and natural decay: work that he describes as ‘midway between painting and sculpture’.
And outside the studio, Jim's home and garden are filled with his creative pieces, from the pebbles strung across the front gate, to the assemblages attached to the exterior of the studio walls; the model aeroplanes and fishing buoys suspended from the weeping larch tree to the sculptures made from garden spades. There's a shed, stocked full of collected materials and finished pieces of art, and an open shelter Jim made, inspired by those he'd seen on his travels.
If you'd like to see it for yourself, Jim's home, garden and studio will be open to visitors in June as part of Surrey Artists Open Studios.