Bord Waalk: latest landings
The Bord Waalk sculpture trail is growing steadily. More sculptures have been installed in recent weeks, with ‘Roseate Terns’ by Celia Smith now in place at the entrance to Hauxley Nature Reserve.
The framework for this artwork was made from steel, and the birds are made with stainless steel wires. Celia told The Ambler, “I was inspired to make the piece after coming to Amble in the summer. I stood on the pier and watched them busily feeding over the sea. I spent many hours drawing them and making small ‘wire’ sketches. I used these sketches to help me formulate sketches for the sculpture. I wanted a feeling of movement and their constant motion both day to day and also the migration.”
Dokie’s Egg has recently been installed along the estuary. It should be completed in the next few weeks. The structure brings together references to a Guillemot’s egg and a fishing coble, and forms a nurturing contemplative space. “It’s a place to sit, shelter, look and listen,” said artist Alec Finlay.
Inside the shelter, an avian calendar (yet to be completed when I visited) will list birds local to the area, and this will combine with a specially created audio artwork which you will be able to listen to via the Bord Waalk app when that is up and running (soon).
The audio has been created by award-winning musician and sound recordist Chris Watson, (noted for working with David Attenborough, and he was part of the band Cabaret Voltaire), who has an extensive collection of bird sounds from around Coquet Island. The audio will also be available on Bandcamp.
“It’s a shelter for looking at the view. A place to listen to the audio and appreciate all the birds you can hear in the area,” said Alec. “We’ve called it Dokie’s Egg as we learned from poet Katrina Porteous that dokie is dialect for Guillemot in the Newton by the Sea area*.”
Since the last issue of the Ambler, Big Puffin by Ben Greenwood was placed at the Paddlers Park and is already a huge hit with the youngsters, and Murmuration by Frances Anderson from Amble, was installed at Island View near the East Cemetery.
Frances explained how she was inspired by observing Starling murmurations. “The idea formed around how they come together in a community, they cross boundaries and group together to stay safe and warm. There’s lots we don’t know about why they murmurate, but just standing and watching can take your breath away.”
The piece was made from Corten steel which changes colour with age and weathering. The steel begins as a sliver colour then softens to a soft brown, and then over the years it should get darker. Already the sculpture has changed colour in different places as it was caught up in Storm Arwen while being stored in the county council yard.
The shape of the sculpture is also reflective of Starlings’ movements. “When you see a murmuration, you see them and then you don’t, and the shape mimics that movement as you move around it,” said Frances.
The latest pieces to be installed are the ceramic Bird Heads in the Town Square, which were designed by Newcastle-based artist Andrew Burton.
All the sculptures have been installed by Barry Knox from Amble’s Beck Groundworks.
*This appears in the book Fishing and Folk: Life and dialect on the North Sea Coast by Bill Griffiths.