Will Shakspeare of Shakspeare Glass, Mark Collcutt of Mark Collcutt Design
I was commissioned to design, make, and install an interpretation of a poem written by Pip Youngman which was to be situated in front of the Viridor building by the River Tone in Taunton. Pip was a local legend - part inventor, part engineer and part dreamer. He also wrote great poetry.
The commission was for something different; something that evoked Pip's spirit and would hopefully inspire. After a few false starts, my partner in all things sculptural, Mark Collcutt and myself came up with a broad concept of a tree, split in half with the poem engraved on glass in between... with a twist. The words of the poem are set on 3 different sheets of glass with a gap inbetween. The only way to read the poem is to stand directly in front, which hopefully means that you have to consciously stop in front of the sculpture until you have read the whole poem. I think Pip would have liked that.
The tree was sourced locally, split in half vertically, hand finished and oiled. The poem itself is sand-etched on 10mm toughened float glass, and affixed by stainless steel bolts.
'We weave screens of strange belief
we weave them with our mind.
And we use these screens of strange belief
To hide our fears behind.
But then we have another fear
That could be hear to stay
For then we find we fear the man
That weaves another way.
This it is and only this
That divides the human race
Would we not better face our fears
Than fear the other face'
- Pip Youngman