International Wool Symposium

2016 - 5th edition

17 - 22 May


Participating artists

Aaron Mc Peake (Ireland)

Andrew Smith (UK)

Claudia Dietz & Frieder Wiegand (Germany)

Gu Jing (China)

John Kemp-Lee (USA)

Maryan Geluk (Holland)

Ping Zhang (China)

Stephanie Rhode (Germany) 

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Aaron McPeake (Ireland)


Three small projects proposed

1. Sheep Bell Chamber Orchestra.  To finish and assemble a series of sheep bells (steel, bronze, copper and aluminium) and to use the wool to soften the sounds of the clappers. Install the bells and document by means of video.

2.  Wool Bell. To fabricate a bell sculpture from wool by means of cladding a frame or interior of mould.

3. Wool for fish. To dye small amounts of wool and with beeswax, thread and rioja bottle wire, tie insect imitation lures which will in turn be used to attempt to catch fish.

Andrew Smith (UK)


Land Drawings 

I am interested in the wool as a drawing medium and aim to create shape drawings exploring the location through line, plane and area.

The project and residency at El Arreciado would be an ideal opportunity to explore a new method of working with the land and wool as a medium.  As a studio based painter and printmaker the chance to work out doors and with wool is a real and exciting challenge. For this project I would like to make a series of land drawings using wool as a drawing medium and place sections, lines and planes of wool across an area of land (part of a field or grass area) and photograph and document each placing, then make a new drawing. I would like to make multiple drawings, over the three days each documented and from this make a video of the work for later presentation through lectures and the on line presence.

Andrew Smith   Andrew Smith

Claudia Dietz (Germany)

assisted by Frieder Wiegand 


Wolltierchen/little giantwoolies

The idea is to build one or more creature-like sculptures. The inner construction of the sculptures is made of wire or light metal on which the wool is applied. It is not about re-modelling any real animals in wire and wool – the outcome will rather be something in-between. In between artificial and natural, made and grown, really cuddly and somewhat suspicious: the idea of a creature or being.

The work also will have a strong correlation and connection with its environment. It will be set in scene on site reacting to the present landscape, maybe in relation to a tree or a certain view or reflecting and intensifying the mood of a certain place.

Gu Jing (China)


In the traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy art, brush occupies very important position. Brush made of countryside, its special character become a unique appearance of Chinese painting and calligraphy show important support.  


Countryside with water content rich, diverse, soft and elastic, etc.  In my art work, the use of countryside in paper and or on silk, present a rich unique Oriental artistic effect.

Gu Jing 

John Kemp Lee (USA)



The objects that I make … are always concerned with the Distance Between. How close do we hold our loved ones, how strongly do we embrace the philosophies that guide us, what separates us from true contentment, what exactly is that moment when life turns into death? 
Whatever the inspiration is that moves the poet or the visual artist to go exploring, the real journey at hand is to travel deeper into oneself. 
… an effort to discover what is universal among specific, even unique, circumstances.


I would like to use wool as a method of capturing light, and as a way in which to balance some of the more industrial and “hard-edged” characteristics of my work.  I have spent some time around sheep and alpaca, and have come to appreciate first-hand, how important a material wool has been in the development of many societies.

John Kemp Lee 

John Kemp Lee

Maryan Geluk (Holland)



I want to let me inspire by the surrounding. I have enough experiences in public space to trust on myself and nowadays I work with prepared wool.


I describe three ideas: in or on the ground, but I know that you have to be on the place to see what is possible in the ground. Is the ground soft or hard with stones?

Second idea: to make a line on the tree trunks, but I have to see if that is possible?

Third idea: to make stones soft or may be there is a separate big stone?  Or tree which invite me?

Zhang Ping (China)


I take part in the purpose of this project is to use such a special way to artistic creation, try to use different materials to express my subjective desire. At the same time I want to know about other artists how to use the same materials to create artwork? I want to get by this project to meet other artists in the field of various communications with them!


Wool material object as a material of art performance, how to do?  Is the year of the Chinese zodiac monkey, I to make performance content and subject matter, the Chinese folk characteristics!  I use wool natural colour itself and with Chinese ink the entire production with black and white is given priority to. It is express the aesthetic standard of Chinese art.

Zhang Ping

Stephanie Rhode (Germany)


Return to nature: A woman surrounded by nature holding a small house in her lap. The woman is meditating, looking for peace within this hectic world. She wants to return to nature, back to the essentials. Our humanity  is well developed and we live in a technical world but this causes us to drift apart from harmony, balance and peace in our lives. The woman symbolises rest, balance and satisfaction, she rests in herself.  

A recurring theme in my work is the symbol of a house.The explanation of the symbol ‘House’ is ambivalent and leaves room for multiple interpretations. My focus lies not in the intellectual understanding of the symbol, but in a deeper acknowledgement of underlying realities and personal meanings. For example, when one dreams about a house it may symbolize a return to the basic principles that they learned as a child.

A second aspect in my work is repetition. Only after repetition man is able to realize and understand the simplicity of a certain event.


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