Heading up a giant woodlands project

Bowhill Wednesday 2nd May (120502xxx)
Bowhill Wednesday 2nd May (120502xxx)

IF YOU go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise. A giant one to be precise.

For Bowhill woodlands and Glentress Forest are hosting giants’ heads made of wood in their trees.

They are part of a community arts project led by the Edinburgh-based creator of large-scale interactive events, Vision Mechanics, and local groups.

The aim of the Giants in the Forest project is to encourage more people to visit woods and enjoy art in non-traditional settings.

Vision Mechanics is working with Eastgate Theatre on the Glentress project and volunteers placed the heads in trees earlier this spring.

A spokesperson for the Peebles theatre said: “The six-month project is set to invite creative activity. We will organise and encourage groups and individuals to visit the site and record their own artistic responses to the giant heads.”

Local Brownies, Cubs and Beavers were inspired when they saw them, creating their own giants from willow and other wood.

Meanwhile, at Bowhill earlier this month, more than 50 Borders primary schoolchildren foraged for branches to decorate the heads before splitting into three teams to plant them.

A spokesperson for Bowhill said on the project’s website: “We have already had lots of visitors going to try to find them and they are genuinely excited about the project. We can’t wait to see how they evolve over the coming months.”

Vision Mechanic’s artistic director Symon Macintyre said online: “The project aims to connect people and their communities, and invites them to reflect on their relationship with the environment, the seasons, life cycles”.

The company has also created Big Man Walking, an eight-metre (26ft) giant which will start Glasgow’s Olympic celebrations in July.

Borderers are familiar with the team behind Vision Mechanics – Mr Macintyre and Kim Bergsagel – for they also lead Puppet Lab, puppeteers and regular visitors to the area.

For more information on Giants in the Forest visit www.giantsintheforest.com. The project runs until November.