Giant wooden Peacock, for Cokethorpe School, Oxfordshire.


This was a great project. Cokethorpe School in Oxfordshire, had a tornado!! A twister that came down in mid May 2012, and in the space of a few minutes destroyed dozens of huge old trees. Many of which were over 300 years old. The twister was so powerful it deposited many of the trees in the neighbouring estate and vice versa. Weirdly many of the staff on campus were oblivious to it's occurrence, (as it was literally done and dusted in the space of a few minutes) those that witnessed it, saw an apocalyptic scene, with rumours of people hiding under desks and in cupboards. Anyway, rather than waste all these fallen trees, the school decided to use them and create a memorial to them. Brilliant for them, and amazing for me. The peacock is a Cokethorpe school emblem and whilst coming up with ideas, it soon became a strong front runner for something to do with all this wood. 

The Peacock is made from multiple trees: Oak, Cedar, Walnut and Laburnum. I made the sculpture in 4 main sections, slowly through out September and October 2012. The tail is Cedar, incorporating Laburnum ocelli (the eyes in the feathers) into the wood. This was slow process, but hopefully will provide a lasting detail. The body is Oak, sitting on Oak legs and base. His Neck is Walnut, reverting back to an Oak head. Again using Laburnum for detailing, like the eyes etc. The whole thing is jointed together, no bolts, screws or nails anywhere. There are some brass rods holding the wispy end feather parts in place. The whole thing almost 7 meters long and 4.4m high. 

I had great fun, both making this project and working at Cokethorpe  School, where everyone was lovely. The canteen was awesome. The head master, (whose project this was) is great fun. All the ground staff were brilliant, even if i did nearly have a scrap with one.