Belle Cole — ARTIST

Belle Cole


Interview with artist Belle Cole —

1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Belle Cole and I am an artisan, sculptor and environmental conceptual artist based in Exmoor, UK.



2. Why art?
Becoming an artist has been a natural progression, being creative and working with my hands has always been important to me. My background in metalwork and welding in the custom motorbike scene gave me the skills to continue my journey into the art world after having my son. I have worked incredibly hard to establish myself as an artisan and artist in my own right by creating art inspired by nature and the environment, both subjects which resonate and inspire me emotionally.



3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
My parents are both artistically minded and as children we were very fortunate to be shown how to express ourselves through gardening, interior design and art. I have always enjoyed expressing myself creatively, whether it was through drawing and painting as a child or when I was in my 20s and learning to work with metal.



4. What are your favorite subject(s) and media(s)?
I am inspired by nature, particularly the botanical world. Flowers and their historical symbolism are reflected through a lot of my artisan pieces and metal artistry. I also create environmental conceptual art sculptures, using visual art to create awareness of the effect of man versus nature and what we can do to contribute to rectifying the deterioration of our planet.


Photo Credit — Devon Sculpture Park


5. How do you work and approach your subject?
My design process starts with drawing by using photographs of nature either taken by myself or from books I have in my library as reference. I fabricate all of my artisan pieces and sculptures using stainless steel, which involves power tools and TIG welding. I either polish or finish my artwork with heat treatment using propane. I aim to reflect the beauty and vulnerability of nature in my work by using an industrial method and materials manipulated by man.



 6. What are your favorite art work(s), artist(s)?
Pre-Raphaelite art is my favourite artistic movement and Art Nouveau is my favourite period. Other favourites include Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais, The Lady of Shalot by John William Waterhouse, Flaming June by Sir Frederic Leighton and Salammbo and The Moon and Stars (series) by Alphonse Mucha. I also favour more modern visual artworks such as the Spider by Louise Bourgeois, the
Sapphire Star by Dale Chihuly and The Force of Nature by Lorenzo Quinn.



7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
I receive a lot of positive feedback regarding my artwork which has been purchased to either celebrate special occasions or in memoriam of loved ones. It is a significant motivation for me to create artwork which resonates emotional meaning. In relation to my environmental art, Devon Sculpture Park, which is a leading small to medium scale re-wilding park, has been incredibly positive and encouraging of my move into the environmental conceptual art movement. I am currently working on another addition to the collection of sculptures which are currently displayed to the public, who attend tours of the park.



8. What do you like about your work?
I love the physicality involved in creating my artworks. Metalworking is an intense and difficult but also satisfying medium. The contrast between the industrial nature of metal and the beauty of nature is interesting for me, not only found through the design process but in its final results.



9. What advice would you give to other artists?
Creating art is such a personal experience for every artist, so I wouldn’t be presumptuous in giving advice, however I think we all share an innate desire for perfection of expression and sometimes it helps me to take a step back to gain perspective and reaffirm trust in the process of my art and its final conclusion.



10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I hope to be in a position where my sculptures have developed an important and well-known narrative in connection with bringing awareness to environmental issues. I also would like to be training the younger generation in the community who may struggle to have the opportunity to enter into the art world, either due to their circumstances or lack of means.



Belle Cole





Devon Sculpture Park: