Join Sophie Courtiour for a Summer weekend at Halsway to create your own animal-based garden sculpture. Using locally grown, sustainable willow Sophie will guide you through the process of designing and constructing your sculpture, and it’s up to you what you choose to make; we’re thinking wildlife – perhaps a deer, hare or fox, or maybe a beast! – but let your imagination run wild. Just remember you need to fit it in your car / carry it on the bus to get home!
Who’s it For?
No experience necessary, this is an ideal introduction for total beginners, or an opportunity for those with some experience to develop their skills and creativity. A certain amount of hand strength and dexterity is an asset, but you will be working at your own pace and also bear in mind that smaller projects use materials that are kinder to hands! Note: you are likely to be working outdoors at least some of the time, so clothing for all weathers is essential.
Sophie Courtiour is a willow sculptor based in Somerset. Given her joint passion for art and the environment, it was inevitable that she would fall under the spell of willow sculpture. A local and sustainable, yet traditional material, Sophie has spent the last decade using willow to create dynamic large-scale pieces. She has completed a number of commissioned sculptures in England and overseas, from private pieces for individuals to public outdoor sculptures and architectural works. Her abstract willow sculptures have been received with critical acclaim, and featured in national publications and gardening magazines.
Having lived in rural areas for most of her life, Sophie began experimenting with willow from an early age. She specialises in living willow projects such as the Leaping Deer near Ilminster and the Beast of the Blackdowns, both of which were created in collaboration with Stefan Jennings. In 2011, the pair completed a unique piece as part of the regeneration of Longrun Meadows. Their ‘Green Cathedral’ measures 30m by 16m (98ft by 54ft) and is made from living Somerset willow, which in unique in its ability to green over time. For years now, the piece has been used for picnics, performances, yoga classes, and other public gatherings. Sophie takes pleasure in sparking positive change through her art, and she couldn’t be more thrilled about the effect the ‘Green Cathedral’ has had on the Taunton community.
In addition to her personal and commissioned pursuits, Sophie enjoys facilitating willow sculpture workshops and demonstrations for aspiring artists and community members. In her spare time, she leads projects for children in schools throughout Somerset, and holds courses for all ages and abilities.