Fat Bird on the Moor
Renowned Cheshire artist Patricia Lee, Knutsford Heritage Centre, the Friends of the Moor, representatives from Cheshire East, and Cheshire Wildlife Trust as well as the school, scout, guide and community groups who have taken part in this inspiring and creative project.
Patricia is the artist behind the ‘Mandy Mandala’ Superlambanana mosaic design that was sold at auction last September for £25,000 to TV producer Phil Redmond and is now in a Liverpool museum.
She explains the origins of this unique installation of Fat Birds. “ When Mandy went into the museum I was stunned the level of interest she generated as well as the sense of community she stirred up in people across all ages. For my next project after Mandy I’d begun work on a new quirky-creatured theme – this time with unusual birds… So when I was asked by Cheshire East to help devise a piece of public art that would involve local communities and increase interest in the unique wildlife on Knutsford Moor – it was a perfect fit. Enter the Fat Birds!”
Cheshire East’s Kathy Swindells agrees; ‘The Fat Birds have really captured everyone’s imagination … from the early community workshops where Patricia tutored 150 residents as they worked on a Royal Crested Moor Hopper and Red Billed Sneezer Birds … to the Scouts’ Triple Velvet (because they’re so soft!), the Heritage Centre’s ‘Old Knutsfordian’ (who knows all the town’s secrets and wanders the streets muttering interesting historical facts)… to St Vincents’ fabulous flock … everyone has been inspired to conjure up all kinds of weird and wonderful birds to create in mosaic.”
“I’m passionate about creating art” Patricia explains “and even more passionate about helping others discover their creativity. I believe everyone can be creative and working on a collaborative art project is one way of doing this. By playing even a small part in producing a piece of public art can instil a sense of pride, ownership and a sense of place. I really am delighted to have been asked by Cheshire East, the Friends of the Moor and Knutsford’s Heritage Centre to be part of this.”
The overriding aim of the ‘Fat Birds on the Moor’ is to engage the local community in a celebration of its environment, culture and identity. The Moor and its wildlife are quite unique and the art will help enhance and promote the distinctive character of this important area of green space.
Whilst some of the artwork produced from the workshops will be installed on The Moor, other pieces will be displayed at their place of creation (scout huts, community centres and schools) as well as forming part of a major exhibition at the Heritage Centre in August.
“It’s a fantastic community project which the cubs have thoroughly enjoyed being part of. Creating something for posterity has a unique value for the children” believes Cub Leader Sue Primrose ‘as far as I’m aware, it’s the first time since the tapestry there’s been an art project on this scale so we’re very excited to have been involved”
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