The Archivist by Natasha Houseago, sculpture in the community garden
This tall sculpture began life as a large oak tree trunk sourced from a country estate in Oxfordshire.
Once delivered to the community garden Natasha’s first task was sealing the ends of the trunk to keep the moisture in and worms and critters out and to strip off the bark at the base of the trunk ready for it to be placed in the ground. One metre of the trunk is buried in the ground making sure the sculpture is stable and won’t fall over. Over three metres is showing above ground.
Heavy machinery, a large hole, steady hands and some careful bracing were needed to site the trunk in its final position.
Next stage was to remove the remainder of the bark, mark up using chalk and then begin carving. At the end of each day Natasha oiled the carving. This helped to protect the exposed wood and as the oil soaked in overnight to bring out the grain ready to inform the next days carving.
During the autumn of 2018 Natasha was on site for 3 days a week carving the sculpture. The work was very physical and required rest days in between carving days.
Small holes were drilled in the sculpture, Staff and visitors had the opportunity to embed small personal artefacts that held a special memory. Children from the local primary school wrote messages to children of the future. Pegs were driven into the holes to keep the messages and artefacts safe. Natasha finished her sculpture in November 2018, just in time to catch the last of the gorgeous autumn colours.
The sculpture looking fabulous in the bright autumn sunshine
Download the PDF detailing the sources of inspiration behind the Archivist.
To see more of Natasha’s work visit her website