... a water feature with fern fronds from the Downs       (Click to enlarge)



A water feature with fern fronds from the Downs and a Cornish Seagull flying over ...

'LEATHERY LANES AND SEE' is a tribute to Poet Laureate John Betjeman and his sense of place. Among the two most important places in Betjeman's life were the Downlands around Wantage, where he wrote for 40 years; and North Cornwall near Trebetherick, where he spent his summers from childhood.

Inspired by one of Betjeman's poems: 'Upper Lambourne', the piece combines elements from both places in a piece of visual poetry.

As the waves of wind sweep through the 'feathery ash in leathery Lambourne' and over the ferny copses of the 'swelling downlands' - it connects with images of seagulls swooping amidst and above the rolling seas of the Cornish coast.

'LEATHERY LANES AND SEE' is a 'reed bed' of beaten copper fronds, set into a large rectangular pond. This oblong pool, set close to the house, is the final stage of a gently babbling cascade. Water emerges from the base of the fronds continuing the 'babbling' effect - as if the water flows under the house and joins the natural brook at the bottom of the garden.

Above the 'fern bed' flies a copper SEAGULL, and viewed from the house, will appear to part the fern bed with its 'flight'. The seagull is mounted on stainless steel rod so that, like the fern fronds, it moves and sways in the wind.


This piece was commissioned.

Location: Outdoor

Size: Large

Dimensions: 1.8metres x 75cm x 1.5metres H

Medium: Beaten & Welded Copper

Edition size: UNIQUE

Collection: Private Collection: Sited at one of John Betjeman's residences

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