This site has been the diary and archive for sculptor Jon Edgar whilst working on a celebratory sculpture for the National Trust at the Slindon Estate during 2014-16. The thoughts and findings are the bits beneath the visible iceberg. The archive is being collated into a publication available later in 2016.
A bequest from John Springthorpe Hunt allowed the National Trust to take an agricultural tenancy back in hand, and contemplate the largest woodland re-creation it has ever planned.
The Rise of Northwood is documented through their blog here.
In late 2013, a conversation with the National Trust’s Jane Cecil brought about a meeting with NT Slindon Rangers Bob Epsom and Katie Archer, and the seeds were sown for an innovative project to celebrate Northwood, building on the process of improvisation. Hannah Woodhouse, the new NT Northwood Ranger, manages a first planting season when volunteers will plant 13,000 trees to accompany the areas of natural regeneration.
For me as a sculptor, improvisation results in stronger, richer imagery than that I might plan consciously. There seemed a story in the replanting; a marker stone was suggested which will celebrate both bequest and vision for Northwood, using a process which I think the donor, a member of The Folklore Society, would have been proud of.
The community which visits the planting weekends is CRUCIAL for the block. Their collective experience – of the place, the task and the history – will start the flow of imagery and discussion which will blend and bind with my own experience. The plan is that there is no plan – the carving will, like the woodland, grow and emerge as the block is turned over several times, randomising forms to see what comes.
Others can contribute their chisel marks and their interpretation of the forms at various locations around Slindon during 2015, whilst learning about the new wood nearby. Wouldn’t it be great if, four generations hence, thousands visit the stone to say ‘my great-great-grandparent helped carve that’… rather than just the sculptor’s own descendants?