Tim Pugh

Environmental and Mixed Media Artist

Month: April, 2016

“Ore Eggs”.


“Ore Eggs”,is a mixed media installation created at the site of a long abandoned iron ore mine at Woodend, near Bigrigg in West Cumbria in February 2015.I found an old birds nest and filled it with rolled up balls of mud with a high concentration of iron ore mineral and clay and positioned it on a protruding piece of metal, itself a remnant of the iron ore industry. The implementation reminded me of the same processes I used when I was a student creating ceramic sculptures from similar creative processes. High winds constantly threatened to topple the nest and occasional bursts of sunshine illuminated the deep tones of the ‘eggs’ to good effect.


“Iron Ore Mine Studies “


“Iron Ore Mine Studies “is a mixed media gallery drawing created over a month at Florence Mine Arts Centre in Egremont, West Cumbria. The design display was made during a month long residency /joint exhibition at the Arts Centre in August 2015 entitled “Makers”. The design panel makes use of text,drawing out of ideas,sketches and slag bank samples from surrounding defunct iron ore mines in the area as well as images of previous iron ore experiments made in the past.It was a good opportunity to compile ideas,thoughts and images as well as text and other bits and pieces to create a vast design sheet. When the show ended ,it was envisaged that the gallery would paint over the artwork but they couldn’t bring themselves to do it so instead they unscrewed the boards the artwork was on. I decided to donate the design sheet as a ‘thank you ‘to the gallery for allowing me opportunity to experiment on such a large scale on their walls.

“Print Balls “


“Print Balls ” is a gallery installation created at Florence Mine Arts Centre,Egremont during a two person exhibition with Cumbrian Artist Di Mcghee in August 2015.I retrieved a couple of handfuls of iron ore laden soily clay from the ground near a defunct iron ore mine in Woodend in West Cumbria and rolled them into a heavy ball.As I had a big gallery wall to myself I decided to create a huge grid /symmetrical design on the white surface by pressing the mudball onto the surface.The ball left a succession of beautiful patterns with flowing red iron ore patterns and in two hours,covered the wall with rows of the imprinted designs. I likened the effect to ceramic wallpaper and appreciated the opportunity to experiment on such a big scale with just one mudball.

“Sediment Study”


“Sediment Study “,is an experimental artwork created at a rural location in West Cumbria called Woodend.The site is amidst the ruins of an abandoned iron ore mine where I often visit to create temporary artworks. On the site is an old slag bank where there are lots of waste materials such as clay, coal various ores and rocks associated with the old workings. I have always been fascinated with the beautiful tones and textures within the waste products and found a smooth stone in which to scratch and rub the various materials onto the surface.Over the course of a few hours I amassed many different contrasting colours collected from the materials, plucked from the slag bank and was amazed at the sheer variety to be found.The colours were arranged into a grid formation rather like the  layout of a watercolour set and after I photographed the artwork, I left it on the  slag bank for the elements to reabsorb into the ground.

“Mud ball Balance “.


“Mudball Balance “,is a temporary installation created at Woodend in West Cumbria, at the site of a long abandoned iron ore mine.The artwork is made up of rolled mud/clay ball sediment, dug out directly from the earth.The balls were balanced upon a couple of metal rods protruding from the ground and supported by a scaffolding type of branch and twig structure to help keep the heavy mass suspended above the ground. It took several attempts to construct with the main difficulty being the sheer weight causing the bottom balls to collapse and fracture and thus topple to the ground.I had to wait for a heavy overnight frost to freeze the balls solid before attempting to create the installation  again so the bottom balls could support the weight of the artwork. The mudballs were very heavy,rather like cannonballs due to the presence of high concentrations of iron ore within the ground.

“Kiln,Furnace and Forge”


“Kiln,Furnace and Forge” is a mixed media beach installation created at North Beach in Whitehaven, West Cumbria. The beach has many reminders of its proximity to former heavy industries in the area such as old collieries and brickworks and the artwork is made up from from collected fragments collected from the beach and arranged on a section of eroded brick stonework.These include pieces of pottery, glassware and various pieces of slagwaste and coal from old nearby collieries. I was fascinated by the various textures and tones of these finds and enjoyed arranging them into a formal pattern before the tide came in and reclaimed the fragments.

“Irish Sea Wanderer


“Tidal Current Wanderer “is a mixed media installation created over a couple of days at South Beach in Whitehaven, West Cumbria in March 2016.
I found an old battered canvas holdall bag washed up on the beach and took it away to sketch a map of Irish Sea currents on it using permanent paint marker pens. I wanted to describe it’s ocean travels and it’s possible journey or imaginery route map to the beach,it’s final destination. I then took it back to the beach and suspended it on a piece of driftwood. I liked attaching an imaginary narrative to the artwork and it has given further ideas for other discarded personal items lost at sea, to be used as objects documenting past journeys.