My steel Bishop was unveiled on 7th April by Bishop Ruth of Taunton at Bishop’s Palace & Gardens. The sculpture represents the local myth about the medieval Bishop Jocelyn of Wells, Somerset who slew the Dragon of Worminster, saving the people of Dinder from further ravaging of their children and stock. He is looking up at the huge Dragon (to be made later), grasping his crozier and sword, in the stance of imminent attack.
I was originally asked by Head Gardener James Cross to create a topiary structure – hence the style – but as it evolved it was decided the Bishop would remain purely a sculpture. He is, in effect, like a 3d linear sketch. I drew a friend, Nick Weaver, posed in the Bishop of Taunton’s cope, to help me obtain the right stance and movement of drapes. A vicar at Wells Cathedral also kindly posed briefly for me in his robes in Dragon-slaying stance, which amused him! As the Bishop is a ‘man of cloth’, I tried to devise ways of not being too anatomically figurative, so that the inner structure only hints at his body, and that the drapes of his robes, cope, cross and mitre are the focus.
His ethereal appearance means visitors may need to look twice when they come across him!
Below are a few pics. To see how the work developed please visit my Art Facebook Page
I am now fully focused on finishing my canopy/net for Chelsea Flower Show’s ‘Viking Cruises’ artisan garden. It took me a month and a half just to weave the net (in 25 sections) by hand with fine copper wires; it’s been more fun collecting materials and building up the coloured layers. Fish skeletons and feathers are some of the interesting additions! A few pics below show how it’s going so far.