Sculpting nature – Patrick Walls workshops at Milton Creek Country Park

A group of people working on stone carving around wooden pallets. They are covered by gazebo.
Photo: Joshua Atkins

As part of our co-commission with Creative Estuary at Milton Creek Country Park, artist Patrick Walls ran his sculpture workshops at the park in March 2022.

In this blog, Kyra from our team writes about how the sculptures made at these and other workshops will be used by Patrick in artworks coming to the park in summer 2022.

 


Milton Creek Country Park is a space close to the hearts of those who live in Sittingbourne. 

The history of the area around the park and The Creek itself is rich and vast. There has been a settlement at Milton Regis since neolithic times and the site has a rich and interesting past.

Alongside the history of the area, many people across Kent use the 128 acre park for meeting friends and family, creative and physical activities and also as a space to relax.That community connection is one of the reasons why Ideas Test love working on projects at the Milton Creek Country Park.

 

Patrick, a tall white man, is giving stone carving advice to Lynda from The Friends Of Milton Creek Country Park. Lynda is a white woman with grey hair and is wearing safety glasses
Artist Patrick Walls (L) and Lynda Marshall from The Friends of Milton Creek at Patrick’s stone carving workshop. Photo: Joshua Atkins

The Workshops

On an overcast Sunday in mid-March, sculptor Patrick Walls, Kyra from Ideas Test, Alfie from our young producers programme Make Waves, Lynda Marshall from The Friends of Milton Creek and Park Ranger Kris Staples, set up gazebos and palettes for two stone carving workshops.

Patrick chose to work with limestone due to it being a ‘softer’ stone to carve. 

 

Patrick is showing Alfie, a young white man wearing a black hoodie and white hat, some carving tips.
Patrick showing Alfie from our Make Waves programme how to get the most from his stone carving. Photo: Joshua Atkins

Weather sunshine or showers…

The workshop attendees weren’t put off by the showers that moved in over the park. One participant came from Sheppey after his daughter told him of the workshop.

A family who joined in revealed their son was going to be part of Patrick’s workshops at Regis Court Primary School in the following week. 

Lynda created a beautiful acorn and Ali Corbel who leads Swale In Bloom carved a Shrill Carder Bee – a rare species of bee that is native to the park.

I also spoke to plenty of curious passersby, including a family on a litter collecting walk, and a couple from Rainham who just discovered the park as a new dog walking spot.

We were happy to have local artist and champion of the Murston Heart project, Sioux Peto join us for the second workshop – even coming along with a sketch to carve.

 

A big thank you to everyone who came to the workshops and special thanks to Lynda Marshall, Kris Staples, and Alfie Coe.

 

What’s next?

The bees, birds, bats, flora and fauna carved in the workshops will be shown as part of a future exhibition in Sittingbourne. This will be alongside the creations from workshops with Regis Court Primary School’s Year 6 students.

Everyone was  able to keep their original carvings.  A selection of their designs will be  used by Patrick as inspiration for two stone benches that he’ll be carving to become  permanent fixtures in the park when installed in summer 2022.

 

To be part of this project, or to updated on future events, sign up to our e-news, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

To find out more about Patrick’s art visit his website: patrickwalls.com

You can find out more about this co-commission on Creative Estuary’s website.

 

Kyra Cross has been the Audience Development Officer at Ideas Test since 2016. She was born and raised in Swale and her family have lived in Sittingbourne for five generations.

About Creative Estuary

Creative Estuary supports a wide range of cultural projects with new commissions for Estuary-based producers and artists, from activity for emerging cultural activists to large scale commissions with a diverse mix of partners. The Co-commissions raise widespread awareness of existing creative talent across the region and support creative practitioners and organisations to make and present new work. We are committed to engaging our local communities to contribute to their creative identity and will give artists, organisations and creative practitioners opportunities and support to help them realise their creative ambitions. The Co-commissions create opportunities for creative innovation and new cultural production – we want to capture imagination and provide opportunities for greater collaboration and knowledge sharing. For more information visit www.creativeestuary.com.