A great American Red Oak tree, at the heart of the community, had to be cut down due to a root fungus. Residents got together and persuaded the local Council to help them save the timber. This involved transporting 12 massive sections of the tree to a local church and storing them in the grounds.
A group of artists and other local people formed around the idea of making a sculpture trail. We approached schools, churches and other organisations to see if they wished to work with us and perhaps host a sculpture. We ran workshops, exhibitions and stands at local events where people of all ages could develop their own ideas in plaster or clay and learn how to use chisels and mallets with the wood itself.
Three of ten sculptures are in place and others are in process.
What we'll deliver:
- Install a stone and wood composition of wheel fragment, bench and bird table at Oldfield House Council flats
- Install a vertical sculpted sign for Sprout Arts
- Install a wall based 'waterfall' piece at the Furzedown Project Elderly People's Day Centre
- Install a hand with mosaic detail at St.Albans Church Hall
Why it's a great idea:
Furzedown is an active and friendly multicultural community of 15,500 people. It is close to Tooting Common with its open spaces and lovely woods. Many children and families grew up playing near this tree and know its story. A 'sister' tree remains to remind us of it.
From this single tree will emerge the following, with much community involvement
A horizontal Matisse style piece made with Year 6 Eardley primary school students
An oak themed bench for St.Pauls church memorial garden,
A 'bean dragon' bench designed and sculpted by 80 individual visitors to Transition Town Tooting Community Garden
A vertical free-standing sign from workshops at Sprout Community Arts space
A mosaic detailed hand for St.Albans church hall
A wheel fragment, bench and bird table for the garden of Oldfield Council flats
A 'waterfall' on the wall of Furzedown elderly day centre
A piece for Mitcham Lane regeneration
A piece for St.James first world war memorial developed with the congregation
Steps to get it done:
- Artists to complete work ready for installation
- Confirm permissions and agreements
- Engage contractors to design and execute installation of sculptures
Safety and regeneration.
There is an ongoing Council-led regeneration scheme for a specific part of the neighbourhood. One of the sculpture sites, St Alban's, is adjacent to this, so will also have an effect of regeneration. Our grassroots organisation will also benefit the whole regeneration scheme.