Monday, 8 October 2018

Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail

The Iron Road by Keir Smith 
Catching up with our home news first: our friend Marta is now the proud owner of our Bailey Orion caravan and we hope she will be as happy in it as we were. We're enjoying being in our Classic Hymer motorhome, despite a few teething troubles, and have decided to call it Horace because it sounds like a lion roaring if you don't change up from first gear fast enough when pulling away at traffic lights! I thought I remembered a lion called Horace, but Googling the phrase has failed to find anything so goodness only knows what I should have remembered!

We took Horace to his first art exhibition this week although he didn't actually get any further than the car park. Dave and I set of on foot to (mostly) admire the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail. This free Trail (It did cost £3 to park for up to 4 hours) is essentially a five mile woodland walk, sporadically interrupted by sixteen large outdoor artworks. Reading up on the website afterwards - because we didn't shell out for the map), some of the pieces have been in place for decades.

Horace waiting at the Sculpture Trail 

My favourite was an atmospheric work called Dead Wood by Carole Drake. It comprises of "five steel plates dug into the forest floor amongst a regiment of larch … they bear faint traces, memories of European forests devastated by war." I didn't get a good photo of this work and the one Through This Link doesn't really do justice to its spookiness.

Detail from
The Iron Road 
The Iron Road by Keir Smith is another that made quite an impression on me. "Twenty evenly spaced railway sleepers placed on the gentle curve of a disused railway line bring the spirit of the Forest’s industrial past to life." The sleepers themselves apparently originally were in the London Underground. Now they are each carved with different motifs such as the vase pictured. Other images include a smoking chimney and an open book.

My third highlight was Echo by Annie Cattrell. This piece is a replica of a section of the bank behind it. It's cleverly positioned so we could see details of tree roots in the sculpture and their natural inspiration. I would love to know how this one was created. Surely a mould of the bank would have disturbed it too much? I did try calling to try and get an audible echo too - of course! It didn't work particularly well.

Echo by Annie Cattrell 

I made an unexpected discovery tucked into an Echo crevice - a cute Bee Kind painted pebble from FODRocksUK. I haven't decided where to rehide it yet!

Here's some of the other sculptures:

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