M5 Willow Man to get a facelift
Tuesday 18 September 2012
A well-known Somerset landmark is to undergo a facelift.
The Willow Man will benefit from much-needed repair work to its head and arms.
Standing at 12 metres high, with an arm-span of five metres, the willow figure situated next to the M5 near Bridgwater has become a famous landmark for travellers to the South West of England.
Artist Serena de la Hey, who created the Willow Man, will be carrying out the facelift to the head and arms this week.
"They're more or less down to the metal framework so I will be going 40ft up in a cherry-picker to reweave those areas, using local willow," said Ms de la Hey.
"So many people have come up to me asking when he's going to be repaired so I'm very happy that we can finally go ahead with this work.
"Some areas haven't been touched for 11 years, so it's inevitable that they need repairing. This is fairly typical for artworks made from natural materials."
The cost of the refurbishment is around £18,000 and has been met by Hallam Land Management Ltd, Yarlington Housing Group and Sedgemoor District Council. The willow for the repairs is coming from local willow producers at Stoke St Gregory and local contractors will be on site during the week.
The Willow Man has become a regional icon and a much-loved piece of public art since it was created. Commissioned by Arts Council England in 2000 as part of the Year Of The Artist project, it has gained national and international recognition.
The current figure is the second to be built on the site after the original figure was destroyed by fire in 2001.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Doctor Who film will definitely happen, leaked Sony emails reveal
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens trailer: Luke Skywalker's bionic hand sends fans into a frenzy
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
General Election 2015: Polish prince challenges Nigel Farage to a duel over immigration question