Trackway Installation

The final sculpture on the Sefton Coastal Path Sculpture Trail was installed at Hightown just before Christmas.

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This sculpture forms a trackway that runs along the new cycle path leading from Hightown to Crosby beach.

Over 20 feet of wood has been installed which contain artwork relating to the ancient man-made trackway that has been discovered in the area.

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For the artwork we visited Cambridge Children’s Centre and Brunswick Youth Club and delivered workshops based on metal embossing. The images are all of food that our ancestors would have eaten in the area.

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Going to the location we lay out the trackway

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making some on site adjustments

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and then a little bit of digging and turf removal

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before lying them down and securing them in place.

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Huge thanks to Fiona, John and Rachel, to all at the Cambridge Children’s Centre and the super kids and staff at the Brunny. And as always to Phill and Joe – Adam, you were missed – such a super installation team.

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The Lizard bench update!

How wonderful to see some people and their furry friends enjoying the Lizard bench down Fisherman’s Path – we thought we would share :

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Sheila’s lovely furry faces Bertie and Elliot

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Geoff and Hannah with the incredible Nico

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Jayne with her perfect little Jack Russels, Florrie and Mavis

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Cheryl with the friendliest dogs ever – Winston and Monty

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John with beautiful Luna.

Thanks so much for sharing these pictures! We love to see pictures of families and pets enjoying the sculptures so if you go visiting please do take a picture and share it with us via our facebook page: www.facebook.com/seftoncoastsculpturetrail2015

 

Clay Footprints Workshop

Last month we hosted a family friendly event at Ainsdale Discovery center where we invited members of the public to come and be part of the Sculpture Trail.

We displayed a selection of flora and encouraged people to choose the plants which they liked the best.

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They then used rolling pins to impress the plant into some clay

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and then it was shoes off as people, large and small, created footprints in the clay…

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Even our little furry friends making some too..

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We then very carefully peeled all the leaves off…

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To reveal lots of fantastic clay feet impressions

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and lots of happy faces!

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A huge thanks to everyone who bared their feet to take part in such a fun filled day – and to our wonderful helpers Jayne and Melanie.

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Lizard Bench, finding a site

We joined the Natural England team to look for a site for the Lizard Bench. We set off in the Landrover ….

Lizard site (2)and found the perfect spot…..

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People already use these fallen logs as a sitting place, so our bench will be perfect here.

Located just down from Freshfield station, along the Fishermans path, this location is right along the Coastal path and also the crossing of two other paths.

 

Visit to Lunt Meadows Mesolithic Site

In preparation for the Walkway sculpture workshops, we contacted Ron Cowell of the Museum of Liverpool. Ron is working on the Mesolithic site at Lunt, set in the evocative wetland of the Southport coast, an important dig that is revealing new information about Mesolithic life. A display can also be seen at the Atkinson Museum, Southport.

Ron  met us on the bank and invited us to look at the valley ahead – the setting for the site and the area the people who lived there 8.000 years ago would have used for hunting, gathering and fishing.2015-09-01 14.32.26

Ron has been working on this site against the clock as the area is due for restoration which entails re-flooding the mash land where it is situated.

2015-09-01 14.45.16Due to several days of rain, the site was flooded and gave an idea of what lay ahead, adding to the spirit of the place, but we were able to see the strata being revealed and key elements of the dig.

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We learned that the people using the site were hunter gatherers and would have used the rich resources of the flora and fauna the area offered: fish from the river Alt, bird populations; hazelnuts;  deer in the forest nearby, using every food resource available – perhaps even including the toad we spotted on the way to the site!  2015-09-01 13.29.13-1

Ron gave his time generously and painted a clear and enthusiastic picture of an era that was 8.000 years away from us. He explained how the Sefton Coast has shifted to and fro over these years so that the people living in this rich landscape would have moved between coastal resources, woodland, and fresh water marshes an wetlands.

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Visit to Lunt Site with Ron (6)We are enthused now to share this with the workshops for the 6th Sculpture on the trail. We aim to evoke the past through designs inspired by this visit and embossing them on copper – an element that was appearing  later in the era and beginning to overlap with the Neolithic hunting and farming communities.

Thank you Ron for sharing your knowledge on this, making the past come alive and creating links with the present.

Shipwreck Glass Workshop

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On Wednesday we delivered two 2hr workshops in which we created art pieces for the Glass view Sculpture to be placed on Ainsdale sands

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After discussing the shipwrecks and sharing knowledge on this subject we thought about the images that would be most relevant in representing this theme. We then introduced the group to glass scraffito work, a traditional stained glass technique, evocatively described as ‘drawing with light’. We used panes of glass that had been hand fused with beautiful and individual hues of blue, reminiscent of the sky and sea. We prepared these by painting them with a matt black glass paint, ready for the group to work on.

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Choosing from a variety of images including anchors, rope, ships, albatross (traditionally seen as an omen of death and doom if spotted by sailors) and sextant, we then demonstrated how to draw the image onto the black matt and then scratch away the paint to reveal the glass beneath.

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This was quite tricky as the process requires a drawing in negative, drawing with light – it took a lot of concentration and there were quite a few furrowed brows and tongues stuck out! However, as the images became more apparent the magic of the process was really thrilling as the beautiful glass was slowly revealed.

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Everyone worked incredibly hard, the glass pieces look fantastic and are now ready for firing before we select 10 to be installed in the sculpture.

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This sculpture is inspired by the shipwrecks to be found along the coast, with the glass views offering visions of a nautical theme. It is hoped that visitors will look through and gain a glimpse of the past, offering a reflective moment to consider how this shifting-sand coastline has dominated the lives of sailors and the locals who risked their lives to save them.

Wire Flora Sculpture Workshops

Over twenty people took part in our wire sculpting workshops in Formby, Bootle and Southport on Friday. The theme was to take inspiration from, and celebrate, the many rare, scarce and interesting plants along the Sefton Coastal Trial.

 

Wire Making Sculpture Workshop

The participants chose a plant and then sketched out a quick drawing to get a feel for the key features. They noted the location and shape of the leaves, the size of the stem, the clustering of the flowers, the shapes and quantity of petals, the stamen, stigma and sepal.

The participants then explored ways of working with the wire using specific tools to create shapes that represented the plants. We provided three thickness of wire in a variety of metallic shades to maximize the effects they could achieve. During the workshops people looked at developing different ways of representation including coiling, twisting, knitting, platting and knotting.

 

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The process of working with wire in such small and fine detail is very time consuming so participants were able to take tools and extra wire away with them to finish their work at their leisure. There were some very interesting interpretations being formed with people really enjoying the process – we will be picking up the finished work next week and are really excited to see what they have created.

A selection of the finished artworks will be installed in the 2nd sculpture on the sculpture trail, around the Birkdale sand hills.

Well Done Everyone!