If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…
There’s something sinister lurking amongst the trees in Northumberland these days, as SIMPARCH artists collective have erected a somewhat disconcerting viewing platform nestled amongst the branches.
Part of a series of ‘seating, shelter and vantage points’ along a 27-mile cycle track that circumnavigates Kielder Water, the 5.5m high timber structure takes the form of an elongated human head sporting a gaping mouth and vast holes for eyes. Despite its eerie appearance, curator of the Kielder Art and Architecture program, Peter Sharpe insists ‘children love it!’
The scheme allowed designers free reign over their compositions, asking them to respond to the landscape, history and usage of the Kielder Water area as they felt fit. SIMPARCH’s ‘Silvas Capitalis’ proposes a sort of watcher, ‘that visitors might imagine had always been there and had seen the landscape change dramatically over a long period of time’. Passers-by can either shelter inside from the turbulent British weather, scramble up the top floor where they can view the scenic surroundings from the eye-holes or just have a momentary rest on the timber seat at the back of the mouth.
Construction by members of SIMPARCH artists collective; foundations built by D G Walton; structural engineering by Craig Higgins.