The Fat Birds are taking centre stage at the RHS Show Tatton Park – Video Report included

By on July 22, 2009

A team of local wood specialists constructed a giant bird-house for Patricia to work from ‘goldfish bowl style’ for the course of the show.  This is set amidst a stunning meadow of mixed grasses and wild flowers …where a quirky and eye-catching flock of mosaic Fat Bird sculptures have gathered from all over the North West for the very first time.

One of the birds on display is Holmes Chapel Primary School’s ‘BUDDY: THE FRIENDSHIP BIRD. Buddy is a collaborative mosaic design taken from the ideas of 112 children from Years 3 and 4 at HCPS.  After making his debut at the show, Buddy will return to the school’s buddy bus stop so if anyone is feeling lonely he can cheer them up with his sweet song.

The star of the show is BONNY: THE BLUSHING BLOOMER, produced with the support of Cheshire East, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Friends of the Moor, Knutsford Heritage Centre and Knutsford Town Council.  After the show, BONNY will join BELLE: THE KNUTSFORD BLUE BIRD when she is installed on Knutsford Moor as a permanent gift to the community in celebration of the town’s rich culture and identity.

PHOTO CAPTION From Left:  Charles Watson (Friends of the Moor) with Hazel Frith (All Turf), Chris Frankland (Frankland Tree Services) Mark Ambrose (Cheshire Wildlife Trust) and Richard Wainright (Frankland Tree Services) at the grand unveiling of Bonny The Blushing Bloomer by Kathy Swindells (Cheshire East) and the sculpture’s creator, Community Artist Patricia Lee. 

Also on display at the RHS Tatton in the THE RURAL CRAFTS & SKILLS MARQUEE (RC/11) is a Healthy Eating Mural produced by 34 pupils from years 5 & 6 at Holmes Chapel Primary School with Patricia’s help.  The children created an eye-catching mosaic design and slogan to promote healthy eating throughout the school: ‘Keep on track with a healthy snack’ is illustrated through a variety of fruit and vegetables competing on a running track.  “…I’m incredibly proud that their work is now on display at the RHS   I know they have been blown away by what they created and we hope the visitors here will be too!” Patricia Lee, Artist.

An interview with the artist …

What or who are the Fat Birds?
“The Fat Birds are quirky and fun so I wanted to show them in a way that reflected that. My art is accessible. When Mandy (Mandala Superlambanana) was on display in Toxteth, I saw lots of people going up to her and putting their arm around her to have their photo taken. For the Fat Birds I wanted to create a place where people could give them a hug and have a photo with them. One of the many things I love about creating mosaics is that it’s OK for people to touch and interact with them. It’s art that doesn’t have a ‘please do not touch’ sign on it!”

What was the inspiration behind that incredible giant bird-house?
“The garden is a woodland hideaway set among a beautiful wild flower meadow. To me the birds have personalities and I wanted to create a unique habitat that suited their quirkiness. I approached Hazel at AllTurf with the idea and she immediately offered to provide the wild flower meadow because she loved the birds and the whole concept of the garden. Chris Frankland and his team at Frankland Tree Services Ltd have created an amazing giant bird house. I asked them to design me a show-stopper and they have exceeded all my expectations!”

How was the wildflower roof put together?
“The wild flower meadow is made from Lindum wildflower grass. The bird house,and the logs on which the birds are perched are all made from local trees that have been felled, not for their timber, but for safety reasons or because they have reached the end of their natural life. Chris Frankland is passionate about recycling wood and looks for creative and sustainable ways to use local timber.”
   
What will happen to the Fat Birds after the show?
“After the show, all the Fat Birds will return to their natural habitats – BUDDY will go back to the Buddy Bus Stop at Holmes Chapel Primary School whilst BONNY will take up permanent residence on Knutsford Moor near BELLE The Knutsford Blue Bird – … Lotty the Spotty, Dotty Bird and Lavinia the Love Bird are for sale at the show whilst the others are flying back to Oldham, Wilmslow and locations across the North West. As for the giant bird-house? Well, that’s anyone’s guess!”

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About Catherine Mercer

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