John Adamson- Tree Sculptor

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The Twitcher

Before
After looking left
After looking right
Detail
Detail

Groundwork Trust (Oldham & Rochdale) were having a Working Woodlands Week from 11th to 15th February 2002 and it was open to the public for two days. They asked me to carve an old elm tree stump at their Broadshaw Clough site in Middleton (see http://www.groundwork.org.uk/rochdale/ ). I was allowed three days for the work

I could see a faint outline of a bum and tum, and a stump of a branch that could be an elbow (see Before above). There was never any doubt that the carving was of a female figure, but there were problems with what she was doing. The elbow branch stump could only work if the hand it supported was somewhere near the neck. The other hand could be anywhere. The sway of the hips suggested by the bum and tum features gave me images of someone playing the maracas. What was she doing in the middle of a nature reserve swaying and playing the maracas under what are, quite frequently, rain filled Lancashire skies? I changed the maracas for a pair of binoculars and the idea of a Twitcher was formed. Twitcher is a derogative birdwatchers term that my dictionary defines as 'A birdwatcher who relentlessly pursues the aim of spotting a particular bird, disregarding the sanctuary and well-being of the birds' Twitchers are easily identified by the frequent and jerky movement of the binoculars to the eyes.

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