Our first journey begins with the extraordinary artist Spencer Jenkins from Birmingham, UK. Spencer is a sculptor, furniture designer and environmental artist who uses sustainable materials to create masterful, linear art forms with "functional intent". His diverse artworks are inspired by organic forms and found objects, constructed from greenwood, willow and steel. We are pleased to present you with just a few of his living willow projects.
Living willow is something Spencer creates on a 'grand' scale. He has been commissioned to build tunnels, domes, screens, arches and any number of structures for schools, communities and private clients throughout the UK.
In 2013 Spencer worked with the Burbage Infant School in Hinckley, UK building a series of tunnels and large dome to be used as an outdoor classroom. The dome spans 10 meters in diameter and now, after some training, it has reached a height of 3.5 meters. Take a peak inside one of the tunnels in this video>
"I have slowly been building up the sides and curving them inwards by weaving in the new growth during the winter months. I planted this in the winter of 2013. I've been developing these spaces at Burbage Infant School for the pupils to play in, be taught in and get closer to nature. I'm so pleased on how healthy the willow is looking and I got some great feed back from the head today who has supported this idea from the start."
The next series of photos show a remarkable 80 meter tunnel Spencer created by bending willow trees inwards to form an arched canopy. Walk thru the archway in this video>
"I started this project last winter by trimming and bending these pollarded willow trees into arches. I'm back this year to bend and weave this years growth into a woven tunnel effect. "