Crossroads photos from Secret Garden

I arrived on site Friday afternoon 1 week before the festival started. My boxes of toys and materials were taken to a storage container and it was here that the magic would happen the following day. . .
So first off I made quite a strange half man half deer half instrumentalist out of an old torso, chicken wire/feet plus a deer’s head that had been crudely preserved. On his head sits an upside down crow- like it just fell and died there, just like that. The body was tricky to put together. I wanted to make it quite animalistic so I used any brown materials I could find lying in the woods to create a shaggy beast type thing. He was me least favourite piece even though he took the longest. Just not my sort of thing if you know what I mean. It just wasn’t real enough for me- or just not scary enough maybe. It didn’t scare me in the same way the others did. It didn’t disgust me.
I had brought an awful lot of chicken heads and feet with me. 
In my mind I saw a terrific and terrifying tree made of tied heads, feet and loose piano parts.  Inside the hollow eyes I placed rotting daisy’s. The orange centre like the yoke of a egg and the white petal’s acting as the egg white…. Other people saw this flower as a sunrise in the eyes but I just saw an egg.  I love eggs. 

My favourite pieces were with the hare carcasses. One was attached to a drum and looked like a terrifying voodoesk player with another tiny chicken character tied to his stomach playing the strings.
The other hare was transformed into a violin with the violin case acting as a coffin. Scary scary shit.

The best transformation for me was when ‘The Lambinator’ came back to life. This piece used to live in the garden until one night the foxes got it and chewed his feet and ears off. I was devastated but couldn’t bare the throw my old friend away, I knew he would come in useful one day. His hide came to Secret Garden and I attached him to a deer’s head. There is something very moving in this piece for me. I can’t put my finger on it yet but there is something deep inside that will surface at a later date. It’s significance will hit me and it was be massive.

I was really really happy with the crows.

 Their dried carcasses displayed on the outside of the body looked disturbing enough.  I am amazed they managed to survive the whole festival. Next to them I had created a nest with broken eggs inside a tree. Not sure many people noticed but I fell in love with it.

Pervious years everything has been ruined-Completely and utterly. Breaks my heart, but this year everything was left in tact. Considering it was a bigger venue, more people thought the door, these living dead sculptures seemed to be protected by some sort of magic aura- either that or people were too terrified to touch them! 

 Obviously I can’t take all the credit. The less server props were made by an excellent team. Previously I have felt the two very different styles quite jarring but this year they worked a lot better together. The whole space had a different quality to the other ones.

This was the best year yet for me and my work. I was very very happy with what I achieved. If I had brought more stuff who knows what I could have done and it was all made with the most basic supplies. I don’t like drills or tools or anything really. I like things raw and obvious. I like to tie things together with twin and then gloss over it. There is something very crude about this method- There is no trying to make things look clean and well put together, this is raw and what real life death looks like. Frozen in time but still affected by it.

I haven’t felt happier in a long time.... It was the best days of my life. 1 room, loads of materials and the freedom to create whatever I wanted felt amazing. I couldn’t work quick enough and by Monday afternoon I had created an entire band out of dead animals powered by the visions I saw in my mind. I got totally immersed in my new reason to live. Nothing could stop me. I was where I was born to be- even if it was just storage container with no electric off the beaten track in the middle of an empty field- just being somewhere I was able to be left alone and create was just- I can’t even describe how amazing it was but everyone should feel like that in their creative lives.
I love doing festivals but in reality I am too precious. When I create I fall in love with the work and I find it very very hard to let it go.  Like having to give away your children.  The things you have rescued and nurtured to fruition, you transform death giving it new life- It wasn’t just d├ęcor to me. It was art. It made me feel something deeply. Something I will probably never understand 



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