Just opened this past October is a free sculpture trail in England that brings must-visit art to a rural location. Pendle Sculpture Trail was conceived by artist Philippe Handford to be a unique sculpture trail that would show site specific work inspired by, not just the natural materials found in the woods, but by the spooky history of the Pendle witches. (The trials of the Pendle witches in 1612 are among the most famous witch trials in English history.)
As 2012 marks the 400th anniversary since the trials, four acclaimed artists have provided work to pay homage to the Pendle witches. Sculptures are made out of stone, wood and metal, by artists Philippe Handford, Sarah McDade, Steve Blaylock and Martyn Bednarczuk.
Handford’s pieces, called Reconnected 1 and Reconnected 2, are meant to show what trees look like just as they’re about to fall. These surreal-looking installations are meant to evoke a sense of perpetual movement.
As Handford tell us, “My work on the trail is site specific and inspired by the location. Both Reconnected 1 and 2 are on the site of illegally felled trees. My sculptures are an attempt to visually reunite tree stump and trunk. I love the challenges presented by the environment, terrain and weather. The piece has practical considerations so a metal support structure is required but kept to a minimum so as not to detract from the natural element. Designing a frame for an isolated location brings it’s own challenges and relies on accurate dimensions and detailed survey of the site.The trunk was sliced before I designed the supporting structure. Each trunk slice is supported by a bracket that is individually bolted to the frame. The two ends of the curved steel is welded to a ring that fits the profile of the trunk.”