Slimbridge 2020 covers lots of different aspects of our conservation work – and shares it in many different ways. Amanda Bradbury has been working with sculptor Jason Lane on ideas for depicting Slimbridge’s iconic geese.
“When Peter Scott was thinking of locations for a Wildfowl Trust back in 1946, the Severn Estuary was an obvious place to look. He was visiting Slimbridge to see the White-Fronted Geese that migrate here to enjoy the milder winter, before returning to Russia in spring. To his delight, he spotted the rarest goose in the UK – the Lesser White-Fronted Goose – among hundreds of its slightly larger cousins. For Scott, it was enough to settle things: his Wildfowl Trust would be at Slimbridge.
We want to share this part of our history with our visitors when we open our Slimbridge 2020 exhibits. So, I invited six sculptors to come up with an idea that would tell the story and capture the imagination.
Local artist Jason Lane, (http://jasonlane.org.uk/) was up against strong competition, but won hands down. He collects predominantly reclaimed steel and has a talent for visualising animal-like qualities in scrap metal. The idea of reusing scrap metal really appealed to us, and his previous work – such as this ‘vulture’ sculpture – speaks for itself.
At this stage of the project we were only expecting drawings so, we weren’t expecting him to launch straight into making a ‘prototype’ scrap goose – but he did! And it’s so lifelike that it clearly hasn’t fazed the Hawaiian Goose that Jason tried it next to ‘for size’.
The completed installation will be a small flock of geese, landing in Slimbridge towards the end of next year. But for now, what do you think? And can you spot any of the things it is made from?”
[Amanda Bradbury is Senior Interpretation Designer at WWT]