Thorney How

September weather in 2014 is perfect for working outside. Low evening sunlight highlights trees, crags and slopes of hills. Mists, moonlight and dew make for shimmering nights and early mornings. Bright sun, sharp shadows and crisp clouds animate the midday.

I have been fortunate indeed to have been invited by Taylor and Carolyn Nuttal to spend some time at Thorney How Independent Hostel, to mount an exhibition in the hostel's dining room and to create an installation around the woodland part of the hostel's grounds.

Here, then, are some images of the work.

The Woodsprite stands ready to greet visitors to the woodland, next to The Tridecal.

 Every woodland needs a pentagram, a primal sign of a connected universe. This one is hewn from greenwood cloven holly and ash, and pegged with hazel.

As wood decays it reveals more about how it grew - where its channels of energy ran, where its time of consolidation rested. Humankind harvests and harnesses stout timber, and its purpose can change. Along with soft, forgiving and long-lasting fleece, a one-time gatepost is riven and joined with iron fastenings to become The Tridecal.

Greenwood rests and waits on mossy rock


Two totems to acknowledge the trees' role of joining together the earth and the sky -

"Come all ye rolling minstrels
And together, we will try
To rouse the spirit of the earth
And move the rolling sky"
(Fairport Convention)

Here are some of the other pieces in the woodland, with nothing but the titles for explanations...
Driving Seat
Submissive Trunk
Cantsentinal

Cantsentinel with Wasp Waymarker in background
Beech Feeder
Crankingcant
Back to Back

Back to Back detail
FINALLY - for the woodland, a homage to Leanne Sidhe, the Celtic fairy of the woodland barrow who seeks the love of mortals. If they refuse, she must be their slave; if they consent, they are hers, and can only escape by finding another to take their place. The fairy lives on their life, and they waste away. Death is no escape from her. 

"She is the Gaelic muse, for she gives inspiration to those she persecutes. The Gaelic poets die young, for she is restless, and will not let them remain long on earth—this malignant phantom." (WB Yeats)

"I shall kiss from end to end the long black wings.
On, captive dove, whose heart throbs wild beneath my hand!
I shall take your mouth as a child takes its mother's breast.
Tremble! For the kiss sinks deep and should suffice for love." (anon) 
Lianne Sidhe Totem

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