Glastonbury Giant Recycled Spider project – Greencrafts field

Raising awareness of recycling through art…


Thursday 10th June: With less than 2 weeks to go before the Spider sculpture has to be installed at Glastonbury’s Greenfields (see Spinning my Web), it’s going to be a tight schedule.  I am logging my progress with snapshots of each stage – apart from anything, it will help keep me on target!  So many other things booked up at this time… I’m trying to keep a calm grip!!

Had a few setbacks with the project recently, including one of the ‘team’ dropping out at this late stage, but there is still a great deal of support and had a visit from BBC Somerset today, who are following the project ( see links to BBC feature and BBC feature 2)

More to follow soon…

Sunday 13th June: Still looking for a replacement helper for the project, but the spider’s taking shape.  Trying to keep it linear whilst also using some interesting pieces of scrap to make it quirky.  Found a couple of good leg parts and some mattress springs on a dog walk to a disused quarry today – carrying it all back was interesting… luckily my son helped out.

Tuesday 15th June: Now have a 4th helper so all go…  Mendip Times is coming to see the spider structure on Thursday, so will try to get abdomen complete by then.

Thursday 17th June: Have been grinding rust/paint off leg parts which isn’t such fun – neither environmental nor creative – but gotta be done!  The best bit will be when I weld the leg parts together at the weekend and test the bolts which connect the legs to the body eventually.  Various admin jobs for the project (and other commitments) are taking up time… but I think it’ll all be ready for Monday’s delivery.  Apparently insects are a big theme at Glasto this year, so I’ll be in with the in(sect) crowd:-)

Sunday 20th June: It’s been a hard grind – haven’t stopped all weekend!  The legs are taking much longer than I’d anticipated – I may have overdone the cleaning process. My neighbours aren’t too chuffed with the noise of my angle grinder which I’m loathe to use, but under pressure….  Ruth and Pete (helpers) came round last night to drop off their stuff for the big delivery and kindly fed me with home made curry. What a treat!

I have various errands/jobs still to do tomorrow morning and have run out of welding wire – still with 3 legs to make by tomorrow afternoon … all a bit fraught!  But, it does look quite spider-like now.

Thursday 24th June: The last few days have been a slog… but today made it all worth the effort!  Delivering, setting up, getting in and out of the Festival site have all been an experience I won’t forget!  Next time round will be easier now I know the ‘way’ as crew person, but there’s so much red tape – even at Glastonbury Festival!  And SO much walking and moving heavy things til’ late at night on my own …

Wednesday seemed disturbingly quiet, until I realised the footy match was gripping thousands on site.  Today was brilliant!  Despite several glitches in the morning (passout/re-entry problems + Pete – helper – couldn’t make it due to a back injury) we had non-stop participation from the public, adding wire to bulk out the body, then crushed cans and bottle tops.  Ruth (helper) and her sons Dan and Joe + friends have been wonderful supporters.  Dan has taken the web on board, so tomorrow we should have it all completed.  The weather has been fabulous – stiflingly hot – so no wellies necessary and tomorrow evening I intend to take in the rest of the Fest!

Sunday 27th June:

Last day and still going strong!  The Spider had to be lowered as it was becoming a worry with people tripping up, especially late-night-lurchers …my steel man on display was on his back two mornings in a row and various things have been stolen from the dome during the night (all my cushions, a prototype dreamcatcher I’d made and my bag of glasses for eye protection) – some people are charming!  However, the web (made by Dan – helper – and friend Jess) is gradually gaining waste bugs made by participants in workshops yesterday, from young children to adults, so I’m pleased with the progress.

Monday 28th June: What an exhausting week/month!  Spider got filled up with cans and nothing too serious went wrong.  We were penalised with a rubbish area at the edge of Greencrafts field for our site, BUT despite that the public (all ages) seemed to appreciate the concept; loads joined in to help create the piece – some fighting arachnophobic tendencies;  numerous photo shoots of people wanting to pose with ‘Spider’ (still has no name – any suggestions??) and some press coverage, so I think it was a success!  In tandem with the Spider creation, the weekend wire workshops stretched people’s imagination.  Some produced complex insects with beautiful beadwork, whilst others made funky ‘waste bugs’ with googly eyes – all for the web, which participants collected later.   And I saw Stevie Wonder – he was fantastic!

The project owes its success to numerous helpers, particularly HUGE THANKS to Ruth Worsley, Dan and Joe Beadleson, Pete Margerum, Jason Nosworthy, JustVans, Luke Allen (Geodize), Pylle motor Spares, Capita, John Shepherd Feeders and all the kind can collectors!


“thank u fiona for letting us all join in. Out of all of Glasto this year, helping to build a giant spider will stick with me forever. Please keep in touch. Marc”

I’m on the photos! 🙂  It was a pleasure to participate and the final work looks amazing.  Analia”

PS  Click on the following link to see a brief interview with


Just back from a mini break in Cornwall – my favourite retreat in UK.  Rejuvenated & with usual bag of collected flotsam & jetsam I’m now set to start the giant spider sculpture project for Glastonbury Festival’s Greencrafts field.  Spent the weekend preening the garden in readiness for a visit from BBC Somerset who are coming to see the spider progress…. Better get moving!!  The drawing/template alone took 3 hours to draw out on 4 metres of paper with charcoal attached to a long stick a la Matisse (finally a good use for my son’s extravagant stick collection!)

Several exhibitions of my work have come and gone in the past few months (see Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions) – the latest at the Yew Tree Gallery, Cornwall started yesterday.  Below are some recent images of my work in situ and see link to Headford Gardens.  Very glad Fossil sold (at Showborough) – it’s a heavy one to cart around!

After a recent bout of insect-making, I’m looking forward to exploring new ideas and forms – I want to look into the vitalist principle further… Arp, Moore and Sutherland were connected with it.  With some horrors going on in our natural world – the BP oil disaster, killing dolphins in Denmark, China’s new interest in ivory/elephant poaching in Africa….  there’s a need to breathe life and beauty into things…

Cocoons - RHS Rosemoor, Great Torrington, Devon

Dragonfly II - Air Gallery, Wells

Spiky Cocoon II - Black Swan Art Centre, Frome

Fossil - Showborough House Sculpture Exhibition

Dung Beetle and Ball (large version) - Mythic Garden Sculpture Exhibition, Chagford, Devon ('til October)

Anthill I (bulbous form) - Bruton Art Trail

'Nature', Octagon Theatre, Yeovil ('til 3rd July)

Man - Manor House Garden Sculpture Show (12/13 June)