This is the second element of the sculpture in the woods, built in deadfall and modelled in rough clay; both locally sourced.
A slideshow of the sculpture, under construction & prior to moulding, can be seen below:
My sculptures are inspired by found natural forms that initially attract my attention. These may be flints, sea shells, driftwood or, more recently, split kindling for the fire.
I then develop these original forms in clay or plaster as a sculpture in the round: This is a working maquette (model). When I feel the piece is resolved, I then mould and cast it into cement. These maquettes constitute a body of work that I seek to build on a suitable scale for permanent siting in the landscape.
Following the cancellation of the ‘Iron Ring’ sculpture for Flint Castle, this is my proposal should such funding become available again. The sculpture is entitled ‘Silver Bird,’ and would be constructed in stainless steel tubing. It is derived from my original piece, ‘The Gull’ – development of which is visible on this site.
My intention is to have this sculpture built by – and with the backing of – one of the major Flint steel construction companies. The object of this would be to bring investment into Flint & Deeside, as opposed to it being outsourced.
Over the summer, members of the community worked together to convert the old school yard (adjacent to the Village Hall) into a shared area: Functioning as both a peaceful garden in which to reflect and pause for breath – and also a warm, inviting space to welcome visitors and locals alike.
It was agreed that this Garden would serve as the ideal location for my sculpture ‘Buddies’ – originally intended for the local primary school, Ysgol-Y-Foel. When walking through the village on their way to visit St. Mary’s church, or the Millenium Woods, the pupils are encouraged to ‘buddy up,’ and this was the inspiration for the piece.
During the construction of the original sculpture, the pupils of Ysgol-Y-Foel worked with me, placing their thumb prints into clay before the final piece was cast. The leaving of a thumb print is a symbolic acknowledgement; that this community both remembers and thanks the excellent start in life Ysgol-Y-Foel has provided for the children of this village, past and present.
Thumbs at the ready!
Discussing thumb print technique!
The Garden is a tribute to much loved Community member David Johnson, one of the key figures in the regeneration of the Village Hall. A quotation from Victor Hugo can be seen on the wall.
The Garden itself was designed by local landscape architect Simon Richards, and was project managed by committee members Valerie Thompson and Phil Higgins.
‘The Dragon’ is intended to be a monumental steel drawing in space; the symbol of Welsh pride, through which (though not obscured by) the Castle ruins can be seen. A lasting, imposing trace of the weight of history. My desire is that they balance, and acknowledge that this is a nation for all its citizens.
And to give an idea of the possible scale:
Ideas for sculptures in the landscape.
This collection of macquettes is from an earlier existing body of work which I am currently revisiting. Click on the images to see the full photograph.
All photos © Nick Eames.