Saturday, August 13, 2011

Victoria Special School, Birmingham.

Victoria Special School in Birmingham won the peoples millions and developed an outdoor space for their students to interact with each other.
It is a very well considered and finely polished design with a seamless network of wheelchair friendly pathways winding through their raise-bed area and solar-dome, which will become an outdoor/indoor learning space where the students can just get messy and plant and play in all weathers and feel some direct connection with the weather and seasonal changes... I love it! and could instantly see its effect on the children and staff alike.

My part in this was to create some seed form sculpture around the garden - namely poppy heads and physalis - and to create height and structure, the next phase of the project will see a living willow dome planted in the new year.

ITV came to the opening and filmed performances and the carnival atmosphere.

City Waterside bulrushes.

City Waterside was the location for the third installation for British Waterways, this time in Stoke-on-Trent and this time a series of woven bulrush appeared from the paved canal bank, in the shadows of a stunning bottle kiln.
The day the images were shot we had a celebration of the project and then the mayor arrived on a restored working boat! It was a lovely day even dressed in my jacket a just had to grab the line and moor the beast.

Etruria locks Dragonfly

One of the four commissions for the British Waterways was at Etruria where the bone and flint mill sits on the junction of the Caldon Canal, the Trent and Mersey, it's also home to Stoke-on-Trent's industrial museum!
I created the dragonfly here, 4.5 meters high, to give some drama above the roof tops of the lower sheds, dragonflies are a great indicator of good water quality and as the industry calms down and we reflect on it's history everything gets a chance to breathe.
The sculpture is overlooked by some sheltered housing... I hope they like it, either that or they are having nightmares about giant insects!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ryton Gardens.

After meeting with head gardener Andy Strachan at Chelsea 2010 and sampling some kohl rabi on the build up of the show straight out of Garden Organics feature - sliced raw and dipped in salsa, mmm! - it was only a matter of time before we hooked up to to install some sculpture in this incredible garden near Coventry.

I've visited a few times over the years and it just so happened to be pumpkin season one time, we indulged in some exquisite soup and pie, grown and hand crafted on site.
The staff at the garden are second to none with 100% commitment to their natural uncomplicated art of growing and inspiring real stuff!

I took my dad on this installation, while we were their we took a quick look over their new allotment garden which is just beautiful and I found myself dribbling over the fence at all the veg and salad crops, don't worry, I didn't touch it, well, I didn't eat it..
Here we are below installing the exhibition piece .
You've just got to get down see for yourselves....

Friday, August 5, 2011

A heron for British Waterways.

Since February I have been working in Stoke-on Trent on a commission for British Waterways, a series of four installations spread over the city all with a direct link to the canal and communities that use them.
The Heron below is at Westport Lake the largest body of water in the city, well known for its waterbirds, it's a great spot for a walk and has an environmental centre cantilevered over it, its pretty smart!
My heron stands about 4 meters up on its pole and is very much a willow sketch against the skyline.
Whilst there I ran a workshop onsite and created bits and bats with the visitors to discuss the ideas and engage folk in the process.
Incidentally my friend has a sculpture on this site too, a series of huge stainless steel feathers designed by Martin Heron (appropriately) and fabricated by see below
More Stoke-on-Trent sculptures to follow!