A new role for the artist?
16th August 2017
Third Commission: WATER 22nd – 28th April 2015
16th August 2017

Fourth Commission: WIND August-October 2015

John Fox had spent 2 or 3 years prototyping a series of wooden painted whirlygigs, installing them on poles on the beach. These were mainly clusters of oystercatchers to honour the vast migratory flocks which visit the site annually and are now on the RSPB list of endangered birds.

This commission allowed him to create SPINDLEVANES - weathervanes which are larger images with no moving parts. A hare and a deer, cut out from plywood and painted, seen fleeing from the flames. He also designed and researched new materials - aluminium, brass, copper - and had these images cut by the local engraver. How these metals will weather is going to reveal itself through the seasons. The tall poles need to pivot and be lowered to the ground in stormy weather. Their metal bases are firmly cemented in and are known as tabernacles.

 

Three coppiced poles - 2 oak and 1 beech - were cut in the Rusland Valley and brought to the shore. Their bark needed to be removed using the spoke shave to avoid trapping moisture which would rot the wood. The spindle vane is placed on a strong metal spike inserted into he top of the pole, to permit rotation in the wind.

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