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Otley artist Shane Green commemorates the Diamond Jubilee
8:20am Saturday 30th June 2012 in News
He has just completed a major new sculpture to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
And Otley artist Shane Green is justifiably proud of the large stone work, showing the Wharfedale Press printing machine and the ‘three Rs’ of education, which was unveiled in Wharfemeadows Park on Monday.
But his toughest challenge of 2012 is still to come – in the form of carving 18 tree trunk sculptures, using a chainsaw, in three weeks during the London 2012 Olympics.
Shane, who is head of art at Prince Henry’s Grammar School, will base each work on an Olympic event that’s happening on the day, working in ten different parks around the city.
The end result will be an Olympic sculpture trail similar to the ones he has already installed on Otley Chevin, albeit on a far grander scale.
He has been preparing for the epic challenge by creating a massive 35ft high work – The Calverley Angel – in the grounds of St Wilfrid’s Church, Calverley. That has required three floors of scaffolding to let Shane carve a 200-year-old, storm-damaged beech tree.
And he thinks the experience should make his London task less daunting.
Writing on his olympicsculpture blog, he said: “I have been focussed on sculptures since the beginning of 2012 as a way of preparing for my Olympic chainsaw sculpture trail down in London.
“Those six feet-high sculptures are going to seem like small-scale models after this monumental one I am doing up here in Yorkshire.”
His preparations for what he describes as a “labour of love” – he is not being paid for the Olympic sculptures – have also included drawing sketches and building detailed models for the trail, as well as trying out some full-scale prototypes.
He hopes the project, which will see him travelling to the capital a few days before the Olympics start to ready the tree trunks for carving, will go down well with the crowds.
He said: “Hopefully, people will be interested and see what I am going to do next.
“I’ve got my little marquee with me so I will be able to continue my work whatever the weather.
“I’ll be carving with the torch relay coming past me twice before the official opening, which should fire me up. Then, on the night of the opening, I’ll be carving the discus event at Alexandra Palace.”