Little Acorns ~ Powder Coated Steel and Stainless Steel
Sculptor ~ Alan Cargo
Back in 2011, Antrim Borough Council encouraged local residents to take part in an exciting, new project: A sculpture representing a mighty oak tree, to be erected at the roundabout at Greystone Road, Antrim. I found it during construction, but was unable to discover the back story until now.
It involved working with artist, Alan Cargo, to create a large metal tree complete with engraved metal leaves. Each leaf was created by an individual member of the community with a design of their choice along the themes of Round Tower, growth, strength, and connections.
Unfortunately, because of the 7.5m height, and positioning of the completed sculpture on the roundabout, it was not possible to get up close to see the words and imagery on to the 320 stainless steel leaves and acorns.
The project is part of the Positive Spaces programme, helping communities enhance their neighbourhoods with positive and cross-community public art.
Alan Cargo has for more than a decade successfully completed 25 large scale public art sculptural projects, and taken part in exhibitions both internationally and locally.
He has lived and worked in England, Ireland and Africa both as a teacher and designer / maker of sculpture, and has traveled extensively in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He is currently a lecturer of 3D Design (Sculpture) in Belfast Metropolitan College.
A wide range of materials and engineering techniques are used to realise his work, and he likes to have a hands-on approach to all the manufacturing stages involved in making the work a process. He has this to say about ‘Little Acorns’:
Commissioner, Antrim Borough Council / European Development Fund.
The four parts of this sculpture line up to make a ‘great oak’ tree at one point of the viewers journey round the roundabout creating a sense of visual anticipation, and reflecting the somewhat fractured nature of the surrounding communities. Direct inclusion of peoples words and imagery sand blasted on to the 320 stainless steel leaves and acorns advances the idea that community is strengthened when everyone can speak, words and imagery from workshops with 5 primary schools and 4 community groups are included.
About four years ago, I wrote about a very different tree not far from this one. It was Brian Connolly’s The Healing Tree.
When I discover how to pull over the approx 2,300 posts from my old blog, you will be able to dander through my sculpture series that began with the story of Dickie, Sam & Billy. If you scroll down the comments, you will find a comment from Brian Alabaster, the sculptor of the piece. I have to confess it is still my favourite.