Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Aerie Willow installation at West Wales Arts Centre in Fishguard

Aerie may refer to the nests of hawks and eagles built on high, lofty platforms to hold their eggs, rear their young but  here it is the name  chosen for a willow installation we created at West Wales Arts Centre weaving it around a wooden structure on the outside of the  gallery. To build our nest my asistant Emma and I  had to find a good supply of useful sticks and a little birdy  told us to stop at Newport School where there was a healthy hedge of tall green viminalis needing to be cut..  The hedge was tall and I was amazed to find we could fit it all, once  deconstructed,  in to a van and roomy Kangoo.. so off to Fishguard we flew. Like those busy motherbirds working tirelessly for a few days we worked arms and heads stretched upwards poised on the tops of silver ladders,  descending  from time to time to inspect the  weave and what to do with it  next. We worked each day until we could weave no more but promise to return again and add some more and so it went on until  our bundles had gone.  As I wove those thick powerful branches  in and around, my imagination searched for  the meaning, the form, the name of the work.  In to my thoughts came memories of a sports day many years ago watching my little boy aged 4 run with his classmates all around the green playing field baby birds flying for the first time for the utter joy of it as all us Mums watched. What are we inside, what do we have in us and what do we do with it. What is left in us is our memories  and our hopes our joys and our deep fears. Aerie is perhaps referring to birds of prey or is it  pray a nest far up out of reach out of the way some

thing hopeful some thing about joy.

Living Willow Roller Coaster

Here's a peek at the latest living willow  installation that we  created  for Oakwood www.oakwoodthemepark.co.uk, Pembrokeshire's theme park. It is a little experimental too with some parts of the design reaching 2.5 metres. That is the tallest living willow design I have ever planted and so I will be watching it closely to see how it develops. The design is based on the park's  Megaphobia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megafobia all wooden roller coaster ride which is twenty years old this year.