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Work Nears Completion for Stourhead Sculpture Trail

Sunday 7 August 2011, 11:30
By Fiona Campbell

Fiona Campbell building a steel heron from scrapWork is well underway and nearing completion for the Scraptors, a collaborative sculpture group of four West Country sculptors, who are creating a Sculpture Trail at Stourhead for September.

The Scraptors specialise in making sculptures from pieces of scrap sourced from skips, roadsides and recycling yards. Using materials such as old steel tools, pipes, wire, bristles, bins lids and bottle tops, they create individual and collaborative pieces which are often site-specific. The Stourhead sculpture trail, entitled "Beyond the Garden Gate", will be installed by the Six Wells lakes and woodland that border the iconic Stourhead Gardens.

The brief from the National Trust is to encourage visitors to venture and explore the estate beyond the world famous gardens round the lake. The sculpture trail is part of a whole month of activity to find out what lies beyond the horizon and why it is there with the theme "Beyond the Garden Gate". As visitors explore the garden throughout September the storyboard exhibition will reveal the significance of the views you see into the wider landscape. Discover what's beyond the garden boundary, learn about the history of the landscape, its development and how the countryside areas of this vast estate are managed today. The sculptures will explore themes connected with Stourhead - its history, wildlife, classical mythology of sculptures in the garden and buildings that dot the landscape.

Anthony Wilson's flying Barn OwlScrap Chameleon

Fiona Campbell (from West Cranmore - is creating a series of huge colourful steel and wire insects, various suspended cocoons and bulrushes, a reptile made from a range of recycled materials and an entwining arch with nest stretching over the wooded path, using materials such as scrap steel springs, horseshoes and wire.

Paul Boswell and Rachel Macleay (from Trudoxhill - are creating a hermitage from materials found on the estate. There was a hermitage there in the eighteenth century. Nearby they will create a life-sized Bacchus, god of wine, who will emerge from a lake. A version of Henry Hoare's magnificent horse will also be a main feature of the Trail.

Recycled dead treeRed scrap lizard

Anthony Wilson (from Heytesbury) of will provide giant frogs whose mouths are made with flipped over TV satellite dishes and a giant spider on a web strung between trees. On the classical theme there will be a three feet high Hercules subjugating a ten feet long serpent.

The Scraptors walking through StourheadAll four artists will collaborate on some pieces together, including a cluster of giant fungi, to reflect in the water. They will also transform huge found objects - fallen trees, into sculptures. A horizontal fifty feet long tree will become a monster reflected in a lake by the addition of a strategically placed eye. A dead standing tree will become the home of owls. Stourhead is providing old tools to be made into herons, which will be installed in the lakes.

The Scraptors intend to extend the fantasy and whimsy of the lakeside into the woods, creating a vibrant spectacle, a magical sense of 'otherworldliness' - appealing to both children and adults. Visitors to Stourhead will enjoy discovering the work in surprising places - sited in the water, on ground level and amongst the trees at different heights and on different scales.

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