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Frosty forays at Forestry

It’s that time of year again: snow laden hills and strong northerly winds, and I’m beginning to move forward with the second Collaborative Practice callaboration.

Having gained permissions from the Scottish School of Forestry and the Nursery department of the University of the Highlands and Islands to site an interactive sculpture within the grounds of Forestry at Balloch, I was shown around the grounds by the very helpful technician and he patiently stood by whilst I (in the words of my much missed step Mam) fiddle faddled about, looking at the size and shape of each root plate and taking into account the diameter of the exposed roots as well as the overall look of the root plate. Some were too big, some too small and some just didn’t have the strength in the remaining roots to enable me to get any tension in the strings that I hope to use for the interactive elements of the sculpture.

I eventually settled on one that had a reasonable diameter of tree trunk that can also be used to help anchor the sculpture in place. Muddle the Frog helped to give perspective with size to show how big the plate and roots are. He may only be a small finger puppet but he’s very old and wise. A word of warning should you meet him along the way: NEVER meddle with Muddle because he’s confused enough about life as it is…..

So things to consider next:

  • Risk assessments! So important if the little people are to remain safe.
  • Have my PVG and insurance details available to show relevant parties if necessary.
  • How will the root plate be relocated?
  • Would it be better to clean the excess detritus in situ to lighten it for transporting and also allow me to assess its aesthetic when all the dirt and stone is stripped away?
  • How do I secure it once it has been relocated? Do I use metal pins, straps or chain?
  • Environmentally are there any considerations to be made in terms of plant species and disturbance at site? Who can I speak to about environmental impact?
  • Who do I need to speak to to find out the safest method to secure it?
  • Check out the Model Release form that is already in place with the Nursery department to ensure it would cover any photography or video footage I may take.
  • Ask about possible press coverage.

Ho hum….lots to ponder. I always find that a lovely cup of tea helps the creative process and I see no need to challenge that approach with so much thinking to do!


  1. Inspiring look forward to the journey with you and middle. I so envy you in the highland forests but oh what wonders there are and you will as always shAre your wonderment with us all. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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