In 1966, Blandford Press released a series of books on rural Britain. Book number 8 in this series was by J.B. Wood. It was called ‘Growing and Studying Trees’. In it, Wood stated ‘The true value of trees and forests were now to be recognised, and steps taken to check the drain of tree-wealth. For not only do our forests produce timber in quantity- they also provide many other vital aids for the well-being of ourselves and the countryside generally.’ (Wood 1966: 12)
Over 50 years later, there finally seems to be an emergence of people that not only believe this to be true, but are fighting the tide of naysayers to prove it to be true. The Wayfaring Chair was an investigation into our dependency upon Wi-Fi, electricity and an indoor, sedentary lifestyle.
These new God’s in our landscapes and our lives, thrive on our lack of connection to both people and place. Culturally, learning to reconnect with each other and reacquaint ourselves with the great outdoors is a mammoth task. As such, I needed my chair to be large in size to reflect the size of the task at hand. Sourcing the Oak, I had decided to use to convey courage, endurance and determination, proved to be a challenge. Eventually, determination paid off and I found 4 lengths of 4×4 ageing posts.
Having made some smaller maquette’s of the chair I settled on a very abstracted form that would be leaning into the space it inhabited; imposing its will on all who saw it. Utilising the shapes within the electricity pylons that litter our land, I sought to amalgamate pylon with chair and create a sculpture that was suggestive of a resting place that was inviting and yet despondent, a monolith in modern society that continued to provide succour despite the odds.
It is fabulous.
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