Home Buzz News Countryside is brought to life with amazing driftwood sculptures

Countryside is brought to life with amazing driftwood sculptures

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ON A country footpath near Marlow birdsong, squirrels and butterflies are sure to charm the walker.

But it can be a surprise to come across a lion prowling, ostriches running across the lawns, a stag standing proud on a grassy rise.

Take a step closer and you find these are extraordinary works of art with a unique story.

The sculptures are created from driftwood collected on the shoreline and river beds of the Philippines by the artist James Doran-Webb, and they are displayed in the open-air gallery of Harleyford Golf Club near Marlow.

Some are visible to walkers on the public footpath that leads around the course.

Golf club manager Jack Slade says: “We have hosted this collection of sculptures over the past three years, and golfers and visitors love to see them.

“They are stunning.”

Each lifesize figure is created from several hundred pieces of driftwood fixed around a stainless steel skeleton.

The artist’s empathy with his subjects is evident as he succeeds in portraying movement and emotion, from fierce energy to serenity.

Many of the works are bought for private gardens and estates.

Since the species of wood used is incredibly oily and very tensile, the artist explains, it has withstood decades of exposure to both extreme tropical climate and intense frosts and is a dream to work with.

Surprisingly, these driftwood figures simply need spraying every two years in order to keep them long-lasting.

James grew up in Britain, the son of antique dealers, and began work as an antique dealer and cabinetmaker.

In his early 20s a visit to the Philippines led to a new passion as he fell in love with the landscape, the wildlife and the artistry of the people, and stayed.

He began collecting driftwood in his own kayak, but the studio has grown to such an extent that a network of local people now collect it, helping put money back into poor communities.

He has also started a programme to plant 80,000 trees over the next 15 years.

The lifesize sculptures at Harleyford Golf Club include grizzly bears, a wyvern hovering over a temple, a goat, a highland bull and an inquisitive giant tortoise, costing from £12,000.

James adds more when one is sold. He also moves the collection to the Chelsea Flower Show each spring.

Members of the public are welcome to call in to the clubhouse for drinks or snacks during the day, when they can see many of the sculptures on the course.

A public footpath runs partially along the edge of the course, from which some sculptures can also be seen.

To find out more about purchasing a sculpture, call 01628 816161 or email info@harleyfordgolf.co.uk.





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