Where wildlife meets art
The four breeding pairs of ospreys at Kielder Water and Forest Park in Northumberland will soon have an unusual place to perch. The park, which is also home to england’s largest redsquirrel population, has commissioned A Levitated Mass, a sculptural installation that will be created in the autumn. harking back to the area’s quarrying past, the piece, by London-based practice Fleafolly Architects, will look like a rock floating above the water of Kielder’s reservoir. The top of the structure will hold timber lengths where ospreys and other birds can roost.
‘A Levitated Mass references the work of the Surrealist René Magritte,’ says Peter Sharpe, art and architecture curator at Kielder. ‘It aligns perfectly with an ambition to commission art and architectural works that are inspired by Kielder’s unique landscape, but also integrates into the many ways in which visitors enjoy the park.’
The commission is part of a two-year project, Living Wild at Kielder, which aims to help people reconnect with Nature while contributing to the long-term protection of the park’s rich wildlife. Other initiatives include the launch of a new wildlife hide at Bakethin Nature Reserve, which has just been finished, an osprey cruise around Kielder Water, a wildlife-themed geocaching treasure hunt and, in September, The Wild Clearing, a celebration of foraging that takes place in an artistdesigned outdoor kitchen.
Once complete, A Levitated Mass will join several other works of art that already grace the forest, such as Skyspace, a perceptual chamber by American artist James Turrell, the Kielder column, a pink sandstone sculpture by John Maine, and Silvas Capitalis, a giant wooden head by American artist collective SIMPARCH.
A Levitated Mass will not only be a piece of art, but also a home to four breeding pairs of ospreys