Art Installation Commission for Yorkshire Cancer Research at Castle Howard

by Anita Bowerman July 23, 2020 0 Comments

Art Installation Commission for Yorkshire Cancer Research at Castle Howard

I was approached, as a Yorkshire artist, to create a 'piece of land art' for Yorkshire Cancer Research's campaign 'Put the Boot in it'.

So, I have developed a technique of transferring my paper-cut designs into stainless-steel. Indeed, I have created various designs such as the Angel of the North for Hydram Steel, a 1.5m wide sculpture of antique Sheffield cutlery for their Virgin Money Lounge in Sheffield and more recently a cycling wheel for the President of the UCI.

Thinking about this project, I felt inspired to create a cut out wellington boot design modelled on my sister-in-law's boot featuring Yorkshire Cancer Reseach's logo.  The task was to portray 191,000 people living with or surviving cancer now in Yorkshire.  I decided upon creating 191 stainless-steel boots, each one representing 1000 people.

To bring my vision to life, I envisaged all the boots hanging on a beautiful tree.  The next thing was to find the tree and having looked around Castle Howard Estate, I identified a 60' Cedar Fir tree in front of this stunning house.  The tree is a Cedar Tree, a cedru deodara from the Himalayas and is revered by Hindus.  I couldn't believe I had found such a perfect 'Tree of Life'.

My brother, Mason Small who is an engineer, organised the manufacturing of the boots from his factory in Guiseley in Leeds. Each boot measured 15cm high and were individually hand polished, indeed it took 3 men 3 days to polish them all, creating a shiny, gleaming surface.  My son and nephew were involved in polishing them making it a family affair!!

Once 191 boots were finished, it took us all day to hang them at Castle Howard, Mason went up in a man basket on the end of a JCB to hang the top ones, whilst we arranged the bottom ones.

The installation was now complete. We stood back and admired them.  I felt so pleased with the look of 'my' tree and how each boot moves, almost like mobiles as they turn in the wind and capture rays of sunlight in front of the beautiful Castle Howard.  It can be seen from the other side of the estate as the boots glisten in the light.  The press loved the tree and we received much publicity from the Yorkshire Post, Radio Leeds, Harrogate Advertiser and the York Press.

The display is up until 3rd August.  Do go and visit and see what you think of my installation.  Send me a photo or tag me into social media.  If you like the tree please donate to Yorkshire Cancer Research.




Anita Bowerman
Anita Bowerman

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