This is a new project arising from a commission by the Royal Opera House in London for the annual Deloitte Ignite Festival. ( Information about the event can be found online ). The theme for this year's event was 'Forest', and part of the commission was to make a large 3-dimensional work to stand by the entrance of the ROH in Covent Garden Piazza. For some time I'd been experimenting with small maquettes made of pieces of wood wrapped with painted string and twine, and this commission gave me the opportunity to take this idea to a larger scale. I was given access to a working space in a wood near where we live - the lovely Highgate Wood - and free use of fallen branches to work with. Most of the trees in the wood are hornbeam, and the fallen branches were delightful to work with. The whole of the south of England was once covered by huge forests of oak, beech, hornbeam, chestnut and other deciduous trees, but these great woodlands were cut down to provide wood for building - especially shipbuilding - and later to fuel the fires of the industrial revolution. Highgate Wood is one of a few remaining pockets of these original forests. I was intrigued to find out that hornbeam, as well as its uses in shipbuilding, was also used in the making of musical instruments - piano keys, for instance. The piece I made for the Royal Opera House was built almost entirely from hornbeam branches, the longest of which was 7 metres high. The painted ropes then reached a further 12 metres to the upper terrace of the opera house, and the branch-like tracery of ropes provided a backdropagainst which films, one of which I also made, were projected during the evening.

 bw-1.jpg  bw-2.jpgbw-3.jpgbw-9.jpg   

 bw-4.jpgbw-6.jpgbw-7.jpgbw-10.jpgbw-5.jpg bw-16.jpg bw-15.jpg