The Sheltering Earth

The Sheltering Earth

The Earth is currently and for some time to come the only shelter for humanity and for countless billions of species supported by her. Exile and displacement of populations has been with us from the beginning. As climate change unfolds populations will have to move on a massive scale, economy's and ideologies will not protect us. 'The Sheltering Earth' explores the fragility of physical shelter, the living Earth and our humanity is our only true shelter.

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Ancient Pollen

Ancient Pollen

Fascinated by the fossil pollens found on the Ebbsfleet site in Kent from 400,000 years ago, I’ve created a sculpture of a tiny section of an ancient bee, the long stems represent the hairs and held within them are the fossil pollens of oak and birch. Five meters high, carved and constructed in local oak.

Solve et Coagula

Solve et Coagula

Solve et Coagula, dissolve and recombine. Decay is transformed into new life.

“The ground's generosity takes in our compost and grows beauty! Try to be more like the ground.” .  Rumi

Redwood

2mx1.5m

2012

Private Collection.

Belgium

Dark Cloud Caught in a Thicket

Dark Cloud Caught in a Thicket

Dark Cloud Caught in a Thicket is an allusion to the 'Ram in a Thicket" From Ur, southern Iraq, about 2600-2400 BC. 

Excavator Leonard Woolley named the artefact and linked it to the story of Abrahams sacrifice in the Old Testament. The ram reduced to a cloud of smoke, the burnt offering. Carved in response to the banking crisis of 2007/8, the worlds wealth up in smoke.

Oak and Redwood

4mx4m

2013

Private Collection

UK

Dodecahedron (Detail)

Dodecahedron (Detail)

Fire, air, water and earth correspond to the first four platonic solids. The dodecahedron is Plato's fifth element, the element of the heavens. As Plato put it, “God used this solid for the whole universe, embroidering figures on it.” And if the arguments of a paper in  Nature Oct 9th 2003  stand up, Plato will have been proved right. For Jean-Pierre Luminet, of the Paris Observatory, and his colleagues believe that the universe is, indeed, a dodecahedron.

Redwood

2mx2m

2000

Private Collection UK

Dodecahedron

Dodecahedron

'Dodecahedron' at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

 

Redwood

2mx2m

2000

Private Collection UK

Shaping with fire

Shaping with fire

Fire is a primary tool. Introducing an element of risk to the mix, this random erosion re-natures the wood.

Journeywork

Journeywork

Carved from a single wind blown oak tree. Exploring thresholds on a life journey, events that irrevocably change how we perceive the world. 

Oak

10mx2.5m

2000

Commissioned by Fabrica Gallery, Brighton, UK

Cosmos

Cosmos

These overlapping radiating forms continue to fascinate. For me they represent a snapshot of energy fields in constant motion, the pulse of life, the everyday activities of dying and becoming. individuals, ideas, systems, all are one symphonic whole. See the implicate order posited by David Bohm.

Beech

1.5mx1m

2004

Private Collection UK

 

Harvesting Photons

Harvesting Photons

Annual rings recording time and climate as the tree expands and reaches higher for the harvesting of light.

Beech

35cmx30cm

2004

Private Collection UK

My House Has Many Chambers

My House Has Many Chambers

We all carry many potential gifts and destinies, this figure celebrates the flexibility needed to develop and change in a turbulent world. The Cube is the Platonic Earth element and is a symbol of stability.

Redwood

2mx50cm

2012

Private Collection

France

Park House

Park House

Park House is the largest development on Oxford Street, London for 40 years.

Invited to collaborate with the team at Robin Partington Architects at the design stage, the brief was to create integrated art works on a bold scale.
I wanted to emphasise the translucent quality of Park House, but to ground it in earthy materials and form. Imbued with an organic fluidity, the wood sculptures and the designs on glass have brought some natural warmth to this big, functional, linear structure.

Fragments From The Web (Detail)

Fragments From The Web (Detail)

Glass Frit around the whole city block. I painted the artwork directly onto a paper scroll 23m long with Chinese ink and a squirrel hair brush. After digital scanning a stencil was cut for screen printing, glass frit was then applied and baked onto the windows. Fragments From the Web is my overall title of the sculpture and design elements of Park House.

2006/2012

Public Commission

Park House W1

Park House W1

Drawing in Chinese Ink for lift lobby glass

Tupelo Cloud (Detail)

Tupelo Cloud (Detail)

Made on location with very local wood over a six week period, Tupelo Cloud was carved from Tupelo wood and the uprights were carved in Locust wood. The Chesapeake Bay is an estuary lying inland from the Atlantic Ocean with more than 150 major rivers and streams flowing into the bay. I was blessed with the sight of an American Bald Eagle on a number of occasions as I worked on Tupelo Cloud.

Tupelo and Locust Wood

8mx3mx3m approx

2014

Chesapeake Bay

Private Collection USA

 

60 Saint Martin's Lane. London

60 Saint Martin's Lane. London

This was the site of one of Thomas Chippendale's workshop's. I amplified a decorative element and carved this piece from a massive trunk of oak, its over a ton in weight and is suspended above the shop front of Havas Media.

Oak

4mx1m

2012

Public Commission

Work in progress. 60 St. Martins Lane WC2N 4JS

Work in progress. 60 St. Martins Lane WC2N 4JS

Work in progress, carved from a single length of oak.

Oak

4mx1m

2012

Public Commission 

UK

Tenderness of Earth

Tenderness of Earth

The Tenderness of Earth is made from a local UK Redwood. Carved, charred then scrubbed with wire brushes. With the erosion of the soft grain of the wood the hard resinous grain is revealed, growths fluctuating biography of the seasons.

Redwood

 1mx1m

 2014

 Currently Available

The Tenderness of Earth (Detail)

The Tenderness of Earth (Detail)

Redwood

 1mx1m

 2014

 Currently Available

Amnesty International

Amnesty International

One of two sculptures I designed and made for the Chelsea Flower Show 2007. The garden and sculptures were moved to the roof of Amnesty's HQ after winning a silver award.

Designer:  Paula Ryan and Artillery Architecture & Interior Design

‘The Amnesty International Garden for Human Rights’ aims to capture and celebrate Amnesty International’s vision of a world where everyone is able to enjoy all human rights recognised in international law. 

This rooftop garden is designed to reflect Amnesty International’s concerns for ethical, social and environmental responsibility; wherever possible, materials are from sustainable sources. 

Origin

Origin

Kew Gardens commissioned this exhibition. I was given access to whatever wood was culled for health reasons by the now famous tree team. For three months from spring into summer I got to live and work on site, very tranquil after hours. Ultimately, twelve sculptures were exhibited over the summer of 2004.

Origin

Oak

2.3mx1m

2004

Commissioned by Kew.

Mother Fruit

Mother Fruit

Oak-1mx1m-2005

From the Sun Beneath the Earth (Detail)

From the Sun Beneath the Earth (Detail)

Carved from a single section of oak 'The Sun Beneath the Earth' celebrates the  ability of the botanical realm to capture sunlight and store it, just think of an acorn.

Public Sculpture commissioned by Kew for Wakehurst Place, Kew's arboretum in Sussex, UK.

Oak

2.2mx1m

2004

Commissioned by Kew for Wakehurst Place

Chimera

Chimera

Chimera celebrates humanities links with the plant realm. Commissioned by Kew to stand at the main entrance of Wakehurst Place, outside the new visitor centre. Origin and Tree of life were commissioned for Wakehurst at the same time.

Oak

6mx1m

2004

Public Commission.

Kew at Wakehurst Place.

Moon Over Water

Moon Over Water

Beech

60cmx60cm

2003

Private Collection UK

Surrey Hills AONB

Surrey Hills AONB

One of Twelve sculptures commissioned by Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The original Surrey Hills AONB brief;“To celebrate an entire landscape and its community, rather than a specific site and be flexible enough to use as a logo on food labels and marketing materials”."The result is a unique family of images with a powerful identity, strongly rooted in the landscape – an emblem for hope, rebirth and regeneration in Surrey’s rural areas."

Oak

6mx1m

2003

Godstone

Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Absolute Zero

Absolute Zero

When was the last time every hair on your body stood on end? When was the last time you stood so still you could feel your pulse through your feet? When was the last time you heard a statue scream?

Absolute Zero is a very strange experience indeed. You walk in off the street and find yourself in a Dali dreamscape. burned trees upended in a huge black teardrop of melted ice figures waiting on the branches. Strange icemen, sculpted to a sliver drip from the ceiling. They appear to sing. Such things are not common on the south coast – not without drugs anyway.

You wander with the rest of the audience in the chill semi-darkness as the music grows more odd and beautiful, wondering what exactly this is– dance, sculpture or just the coolest nightclub chill-out room on the planet? You feel suddenly sad you’re getting too old to take Ecstasy.

You notice the ropes hanging from the ceiling, maybe have a swing or stick your hands inside the grounded icemen whose torsos have been slashed through with half-moon cuts. No, there’s nothing there — no heart, no soul, just someone else’s hand coming from the other side.

Balls of ice arranged like the boulders in a Japanese pebble garden light up and pulse Day-glo green, white and orange. Little huddles of punters stand staring at them until the three figures in the trees begin to move. first they crab out tentatively on their ropes. Then they grow more daring, thrusting their buttocks and their feet up into your face. it gets hypnotic for a while before a gleeful, splashy dance wakes you from your reverie. In a final sublime scene the dancers climb ropes to the ceiling to join the ice gods, now bluey-green and glowing before dropping like drips to the floor.

Kaffe Matthews’ soundscape is wonderful. charlie Morrissey’s choreography teasing, but it is Walter Bailey’s delicate sculptures — done remarkably, with a chainsaw — which linger long in the memory.

If Absolute Zero sometimes succeeds more as sculpture than dance, there are still some genuinely electric moments. And God knows, life throws up precious few. Grab them while you can.

by Fiachra Gibbons
The Guardian: 
Absolute Zero is at the Corn Exchange
Brighton, UK

Wednesday, May 5, 1999

Absolute Zero

Absolute Zero

Absolute Zero

Absolute Zero

Absolute Zero

Absolute Zero

Cloak of Seasons

Cloak of Seasons

“Whatever faith or beliefs we carry, the tides of nature move around and through us. Every breath we take is an affirmation of our connection with the earth. I like to create sculpture on site, with materials found locally. In this way I seek to encourage a dynamic relationship between the people, the site and the sculpture.”

from Natural Order Published by The Grizedale Society 1996

Other works by Walter Bailey at Grizedale include: Seed (1995 ), Light on Shadow(1995), Threshold Figure(1997)

Oak

3mx1m

Grizedale Forest

UK

Coniston Figure

Coniston Figure

Carved from a wind blown oak on the shores of Coniston Water. Commissioned by Bill Grant, founding director of Grizedale Forest Sculpture Park in Cumbria.

Oak

2.5mx1m

1997

Private Collection

UK

 

Serpentine Egg

Serpentine Egg

Carved of a single piece of oak. An exploration of the phenomenal forces that combine to create complex life forms from the simplicity of the egg.

Oak

1.5mx75cm

2004

Private Collection UK

 'A Flame for Dunblane' was commissioned by the National Association of Primary Education to create a permanent memorial to celebrate the lives of the 16 children and their teacher who were killed in the Dunblane Massacre. Twenty years later some of the families asked me to return to Dunblane to celebrate the success of the Dunblane Centre, opened ten years ago to support the youth and community of a traumatised town.  'The Tree of Life’ celebrates the Dunblane Centre, the vital living hub of a healing community. The sculpture is a two meter square wall mounted relief carving, carved with a chainsaw and chisels, scorched by fire, then worked by hand to reveal the striking wood grain.  Motifs of leaves and flames are cut right through the sculpture allowing light to come through. Seventeen flames are held within the branches, tenderly celebrating the lives of the sixteen children and their teacher lost on March 13th 1996. Leaf motifs reveal the names of some of the generous donors who continue to support the work of the Centre. With the 'Tree of Life' I wanted to honour the work of the many people who have given so much in order to create the thriving community that is the Dunblane Centre.      

'A Flame for Dunblane' was commissioned by the National Association of Primary Education to create a permanent memorial to celebrate the lives of the 16 children and their teacher who were killed in the Dunblane Massacre.
Twenty years later some of the families asked me to return to Dunblane to celebrate the success of the Dunblane Centre, opened ten years ago to support the youth and community of a traumatised town.

'The Tree of Life’ celebrates the Dunblane Centre, the vital living hub of a healing community.
The sculpture is a two meter square wall mounted relief carving, carved with a chainsaw and chisels, scorched by fire, then worked by hand to reveal the striking wood grain. 
Motifs of leaves and flames are cut right through the sculpture allowing light to come through. Seventeen flames are held within the branches, tenderly celebrating the lives of the sixteen children and their teacher lost on March 13th 1996. Leaf motifs reveal the names of some of the generous donors who continue to support the work of the Centre.
With the 'Tree of Life' I wanted to honour the work of the many people who have given so much in order to create the thriving community that is the Dunblane Centre.

 

 

Melt-UN-New York 1997

Melt-UN-New York 1997

Ice figures melt as UN bickers over global warming

Thu, Jun 26, 1997, 01:00
FRANK MCDONALD
THE threat of global warning was dramatically highlighted here yesterday when Friends of the Earth placed ice sculptures in a small public park directly opposite the UN headquarters.

The artistic event with an environmental message was called "Melt!" and even before it was officially opened by the former British environment secretary, Mr John Gummer, the ice statues were melting as New York's temperature soared to 32 C.

Mounted on empty oil drums and bearing such statements as "The world's motor vehicles could form a three lane traffic jam to the moon", each ice figure contained frozen plants.

These were to represent the loss of ecosystems which may not be able to tolerate climate change. And as the statues melted at alarming speed, with rivulets of water running on to the paths, there was nothing left after three hours but dead plants.

Mr Kevin Dunnion, chairman of Friends of the Earth International, said there were some who believed "that climate change isn't happening, that it's not already upon us". The purpose of "Melt!" was to find a new way of getting its message through.

Clare Patey, the artist who devised "Melt!" in collaboration with Walter Bailey, a Brighton based sculptor, said it was "as important for people in the street to understand climate change as it is for governments to do something about it".

Art Bypass

Art Bypass

© Hugh Warwick / naturepl.com

Art Bypass August-28-19961.jpg
Harvest Figures

Harvest Figures

The Harvest Figures were carved from a massive windblown Beech tree that had fallen on the edge of a Sussex wheat field. These lattice carvings are the beginning of a twenty year fascination with this layering technique and with the idea of capturing whatever surrounded the forms within the work, a method of holding landscape inside the object. Exhibited in 1994. Lewes Castle, Sussex, UK.

Beech

2mx75cm + 2.3mx1m

1994

Private Collection UK

 

A Common Bond

A Common Bond

Four oak figures striving for union and a common purpose.

Part of the 'In Time and Space' exhibition at the Towner Art Gallery. The work, 'A Common Bond' was subsequently bought by the Friends of the Towner for the museum collection.

Beech

4mx4m

1998

Arts Council Collection.

Part of the In 'Time and Space' Exhibition at the Towner Gallery. 

Selected Projects - Clients and Commissioners

Selected Projects - Clients and Commissioners