How sculptures can grow.

In February and March 2013 I worked once more with the Inspire Art Group based at Fieldhead Hospital, Wakefield. The workshops were funded by the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SWYFT) through their Creative Minds scheme. I delivered a series of workshops exploring wire sculptures. The group made a large number of approx. 40cm high sculptures using the aluminium wire previously used in the 154 Active project. (see separate blog on that).

Alongside the smaller sculptures we would also create a life-size figure, (again, see the images from 154 active for examples of the life-size figures).

IMG_0094.JPG (2)Here is one of the smaller sculptures. Two people dancing.

Having just acquired an iPad I was keen to try out the stop frame animation app.

Very quickly we put together this short film of our sculptures.

You can see the video here –

The small sculptures are created using 2mm diameter wire.

Using 5mm diameter wire we started to make our large sculpture. As a group they decided upon a tree.

The tree started small.


It was created using the same method as the small sculptures.

And it grew.

One thing I like about this process is that the finished tree can still be manipulated, bent and shaped once completed. One worry would be its strength and as the sculpture grew so did the worry.






Here it is back at Faceless. The group thought that the sculpture looked a little too scary, like a lightning blasted tree and wanted something a little more alive/inspiring.



I straightened and evened out some of the branches and, without adding too much, shaped it into something more symmetrical.








An installation day was set but due to illness a key person from SWYFT was unable to attend so we had to postpone. Still, I managed to have a good look at the tree on site.









It was quite a windy day and the structure proved sound. It even swayed in the breeze.


But the worry about its durability remained and I used the postponement to add some more re-enforcement. Aluminium bands were added to the base and an aluminium ‘corset’ was added to the middle section. This was to stop the weight of the upper tree from forcing the trunk to bulge.








The heart inside the tree was made by Jo Walton from Inspire. Further smaller sculptures would be added later.








A second installation date was set and here we see the tree sunk into the ground thanks to the gardeners at Fieldhead. A shallow circular hole was dug, large wooded stakes were driven into the ground and the tree base was fastened to the tops of these. The turf was relaid around the tree and pebbles were used to fill in the inside to prevent weeds growing through.

And the final sculpture looks like this. A big thank you to all at Inspire.


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