Client: Kielder Water
Location: Kielder Water, Northumberland
Status: Competition - Shortlisted 2016

Sited in Kielder Water, PERCH called for a proposal which will function both as a piece of contemporary sculpture as well as a resting place for birds, particularly for the Ospreys that nest in Kielder Forest and fish in Kielder Water during the summer months of the year.

Our proposal for this commission at takes inspiration from the migration patterns of the Ospreys which are set to use the structure. We have spent time studying the flight paths of the Kielder water Ospreys and are interested in the notion of the birds traveling back and forth between Kielder and exotic locations. Rather than take inspiration from the landscape of Kielder (which the structure already sits within) we felt that it would be an intriguing approach to take inspiration from a destination for many of the UK’s Ospreys - Senegal. Our proposal, entitled “Souvenir” suggests a structure which is an oversized memento of a Baobab tree designed to remind the birds of the fantastic journeys that they have been on. 

The Baobab tree

The Baobab tree is one of the key landmarks of the Senegal landscape and Ospreys would often use them as resting places when then are in West Africa. The Baobab Tree, often called the tree of life, plays an important role in African culture. In ancient times, kings and other leaders would have their meetings under huge Baobabs to discuss matters of great importance. According to them, the Baobab Tree didn’t just provide shelter, but also held magical properties which would aid them in making wise decisions.

Our scheme uses a 3d scan of a Baobab tree which we propose to reconstruct at for Perch using wood from the vast Kielder forest.