I met with the Duke last week who approved the creation of a large willow arch and 3 corresponding pieces that lead up towards the archway. The design is very simple, but quite epic in scale! I'm hoping the forms will carry a notion of growth, perhaps in the way that a seedling curls and forces its way out of the earth; the large arch should feel like it's growing from the slope whilst the 3 smaller forms are 'pulling' their way towards the nutrients of the garden. The sculptures will be mainly willow, from Somerset, but will also use oak from the estate and bamboo from the gardens.
So far I've been involved in the groundwork preparations, which has involved using trunks and branches from thinned oak to help reinforce the structure - the team on site who have helped me with this are fantastic, all smiles and enthusiasm, it's been lovely to meet them. It never ceases to amaze me how much work goes on behind the scenes in the house and garden, I can't comprehend how the team manage to balance it all!
The main archway should be complete by mid March, with the 3 smaller pieces 'climbing' their way up the path shortly after. Watch this space!
Laura Ellen Bacon