The ANF had two expeditions to the tiny Channel Island of Sark in 2011, one in May and one in September. I was lucky enough to take part in both and make use of old scrap sourced from around the island. Danie Ludick generously allowed me to take over his beautifully equipped workshop so that I could make all the pieces on site. I was made to feel enormously welcome by the islanders and found plenty of inspiration.
It was a wonderful way to get to know the residents of the island as I travelled around by bike seeing what items I could find in old sheds and scrap piles. Alfie Adams was especially generous and his sheds that were crammed with a life’s work of collecting proved a fruitful hunting ground for me.
I had first visited the island as child of around 8 so it was strange how the memories came flooding back over thirty years later. The Sarkee and talented artist Rosie Guille was the impetus behind this ANF project and it was fateful that my family holiday had been spent with her uncle Philip. A keen bird ringer, Philip had invited my father to see his amazing ringing site with walkways built in the tree canopy for access to the mist nets. Sadly Philip died only a few years after that childhood visit but the remnants of the walkways were still on site. Hazel Fry who now owns his house very kindly let me look around the sheds for possible items that could be used in my sculptures and I was overwhelmed to find a pair of bird ringing pliers among the cobwebs. Rosie was with me and had no idea of the significance of these unusual pliers but we both became very moved to think that these were Philip’s and that my father had more than likely used them too.