Laura Ellen Bacon's, ‘CLUSTER’ sculpture is now installed at Ninewells in Cambridge

British Artist, Laura Ellen Bacon, is delighted to announce that her sculpture ‘CLUSTER’ is now installed at Ninewells in Cambridge. Moulding natural oak and chestnut, Bacon used steam to bow and bend the woods into an armature.

I love working on site-specific pieces so this commission was a treat for me,” said Bacon from her studio in Derbyshire. The idea for CLUSTER evolved over the course of several years as, visiting the site, the Sculptress built-up a picture of local land use over the centuries. Cambridge Archaeology had found indications of a centuries-old system of changing enclosures and way-markers in the area. “My imagination was fired by these signs and clues in the landscape,” said Bacon.

Loosely based on the forms of hedge-laying and hand-built enclosures, CLUSTER suggests ancient human technologies working in collaboration with nature’s wilder elements. It is constructed of 15 support posts, laid in formation like a hedge. “Hedge systems can be vast, containing whole landscapes; CLUSTER is like a tiny portion, swept and cut with a ‘slice’ of arranged, raw ends,” said Bacon.


Moulding natural oak and chestnut, Bacon used steam to bow and bend the woods into an armature, which reflects the winds sweeping gently through the site, down from the Gog Magog hills in the distance.

Hedges still shape the landscapes and harbour life of all kinds within them. “The hedge becomes a living enclosure where life ‘clusters’ and thrives within,” said Bacon. “As spring approaches, hedges across the landscape are beginning to bud. Sap and spring light will make their staked limbs grow.”


Laura Ellen Bacon is known for iconic woven installations that integrate with the natural and built world. She works primarily in willow and coppiced material, weaving large-scale abstract structures, which ebb and flow through the landscape like natural creatures. When responding to architectural elements such as the Georgian facade of the Holburne Museum or the Artists’ House at Roche Court, Bacon seems to bring the force of nature flowing back into man-made environments. Her work has been shown at venues from Chatsworth House to the Saatchi Gallery.

Bacon was approached by Commission Projects on behalf of Hill, the house-builder, together with Sculptor Peter Randall-Page, who has completed a piece in stone, to create an artwork for the new development on the southern fringe of Cambridge.

Ninewells is a collection of 162 contemporary homes and apartments, which won the 2016 Evening Standard ‘Best Out of London Homes’ award. It was envisaged from the outset as ‘a place at one with art’. CLUSTER will present an intriguing combination. “I dreamt it would look like something built by our forefather’s hands, weathered by Aeolian processes and tempered by the forces of nature,” said Bacon.


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