Rebecca Newnham FRSS
Newnham's sculptures often have a glass skin. Light reflecting from this faceted glass surface changes as the viewer moves through the space adding to the impact of the work. Glass is painted with enamels, fired then cut, polished and applied to wrap seamlessly around the form.
Recent projects include Surge, commissioned to celebrate the new STEAM hub at Talbot Heath School and opened in September 2019. Surge represents progressive wave motion and is red to suggest dynamic energy. Surge reflects STEAM education - which brings together science, technology, engineering, art and maths – and puts art and creativity in the heart of the curriculum. Fluid dynamics is the study of how water like to move, as a fluid and a gas, and Surge considers these patterns. Mist making units are incorporated into the base of the sculpture and have small vibrating membranes that shake liquid water into playful mist. Supporters of the project have engraved their names onto a side of each sculpture.
Currently Rebecca is working on Vortex, suspended sculpture for the atrium of Talbot Heath’s STEAM Hub. It also considers water but from a different perspective, it represents climate change - a watery whirlpool, a 5.5m tall column of blue and green hand painted glass that spirals through the space.
The Himalayan Gardens in Yorkshire has Newnham’s sculpture floating on 3 lakes. It has extensive plant collections and recently, in 2018, their commissioned floating sculpture was installed in the snow at Easter. LilyPads are 5 floating forms each anchored and allowed to float within a circumference. Each Pad is a different colour referencing a different flower to be experienced as the viewer descends into the gardens. Another floating work at the Himalayans Gardens is Wave, a 15m installation, which considers the ever-increasing volume of information which invisibly surrounds us. The five sections have an internal steel structure, have a highly polished red surface and are invisibly chained together and anchored to allow the work to respond to wind and water flow. Wave is red because in the colour spectrum, red appears at this wavelength. Magnolia was commissioned for a different lake in 2010. The gardens acquired Samara, a 3m tall sculpture in 2009