Sunday, 21 April 2013

A walk in the Woollen Woods (part 1)

Change the words of the song from 'love is in the air' to 'fun is in the air' and you get a sense of what it's like to take a walk right now in the Woolly Woods at the National Trust's Acorn Bank near Penrith.
The contributors board shows people from all over the UK and further afield took part.
Excited yells of 'look mummy look' from kids, mixed with the adults' more restrained 'aahh', 'ooh' and pointing is what you get when you line a woodland trail with wonderful woolly creatures - cute, cuddly, colourful, quaint and queer. There's something for everyone, up on the branches, dangling from strings, wrapped round trunks and sitting on roots, all making a lovely woodland walk even more enjoyable. And when you've had your fill outside there's a great tea room - how good does it get!

I've picked my top ten but it was a very hard choice and when I go back and see them again in a new season with leaves on the trees I'm sure I'll make a different selection!

So this is my first five (the second five will be in my next blog). The ones I've picked got on the list for different reasons but one thing they and every piece had in common was the sense of having been made by people who were enjoying themselves!

First pick:
The three owls - the six eyes looking down is very compelling, I think I might have been hypnotised! .... pick us, pick us, pick us.

 Second pick:
The Wallace & Gromit style birds (there were two but couldn't get them both in and show detail) - they're very Creature Comforts, in fact I think I overheard the conversation (in a brummy accent) talking about a recent trip to sunny climes, 'oi looved oibeeetha'.

Third pick:
The mouse and mushrooms - together who could resist? especially the little hands, aahh (there see I'm at it now).

Fourth pick:
The little brown bat - other great bats were flying confidently and self-assured from strings (look at me, I'm a real bat) but this one really appealed because he was so understated, you felt he was a bit like a small child looks in a cute animal costume; and he looks like he's not sure if he could fly, with those legs maybe he'd walk instead!

Fifth pick:
The tree climbing hedgehog (is it a hedgehog?) with red scarf - this one stood out for her quirkiness; I assumed it was a hedgehog, but you may think differently eg. armadillo, sloth, expat haggis (we are quite close to the Scottish border here).

So that's my first five picked and the second five will be in A Walk in the Woollen Woods (Part 2) which will be my next blog. Apart from the contributors (great work folks), I'd say well done too to the people from Eden Arts and everyone else who helped, you clearly spent a lot of time putting all the exhibits into the trees, and someone had a head for heights too!, thanks guys.

I've only one thing left to say, go and visit for yourself - it's fun, it's woods, it's fresh air and exercise, it's woolly, how many more reasons do you need?!

Wondering abut my Walk in the Woods part 2?  here's the second part...

 Find out more about Acorn Bank | Find out more about The Woollen Woods project

When I'm not walking in woods taking cute photos, I'm making textile art or blogging about it; here's my gallery; or follow me on Twitter for knitting and textile art news.

all photos | Lindy Doran;
Individual makers (as credited on Canopy's Facebook gallery)
Three owls: Ruth Packham
Wallace & Gromit birds: Amanda Berry
Mouse and mushrooms: Amy Scroggie
Brown Bat: Caroline Bletsis
Tree-climbing Hedgehog: Arts Council Crafts Group, Manchester

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