Glen Farrelly trained at the renowned Camberwell College of Arts in London, studying for a fine arts degree in ceramics. Glen then went on to teach Art at one of the top independent schools in London where he was Head of Art. After 20 years of teaching Glen moved to California, where he was exposed to devastating wildfires that almost destroyed his home. Later, when the fires had been declared safe, he returned to his home and walked the fire ravaged sites collecting remnants of scorched and discarded wood, changing artistic direction and materials Glen began carving and sculpting. His work has been displayed in exhibitions throughout California and the UK.
Now living in North Wales, Glen Farrelly continues to work with reclaimed, abandoned and discarded materials uncovering their beauty, showing their story, and reassembling to find their future worth.
In 2015 I moved to California where I encountered devastating Wildfires first hand. Having narrowly escaped one of the biggest fires in California with my young family was an experience I, and they, will never forget. Visiting these sites had a profound effect on me. The scarred and fallen trees held a strange beauty that cradled potential new life. Working with this burnt wood changed my artistic direction as a trained Ceramicist but it felt natural as I belong to generations of carpenters!
I have enjoyed exhibiting across Los Angeles and the UK raising awareness of human action on the climate through my sculpture. Now living in stunning North Wales I continue to work with reclaimed, abandoned and discarded Welsh materials uncovering their beauty, show their story, and reassembling to find their future worth.
The technique I use on my work emanates from those original wildfires I encountered. Yakisugi (焼杉) can be literally translated as “burned cedar”. It has been used as a traditional method to protect timber siding surfaces, mostly for exterior cladding on traditional Japanese houses, when there was still no means of chemical wood protection. The technique is incredible in preventing decay; insect and mould infestation; making the wood more dimensionally stable and improves fire retardancy and weathering. Those ancient wooden buildings still stand strong centuries later.