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Gray’s Master's Student creates community artwork installation in Maryculter

Wednesday 27 February 2019

The Nest
A mature student who is studying MA in Fine Art at Gray’s School of Art has created a large-scale public artwork in Maryculter Woods, to benefit both the local wildlife and the community.

Stanley Brooks has built ‘The Nest’ from rare Greenheart Wood, salvaged from the Sullum Voe Oil Terminal, and the sculpture will breathe new life into the woodland by creating a home for insects, birds and mammals.

Stanley has been working with local schools to make bug houses for The Nest and will visit the installation with the pupils in February to allow them to install their contributions to the artwork.

The Nest will officially be handed over to The Maryculter Woodlands Trust later in the year and Stanley hopes that it will provide a lasting legacy for many generations to enjoy.

“The whole project began while I was working at the Sullom Voe Oil Terminal and discovered several tonnes of Greenheart Wood which was destined to be buried underground and forgotten about,” Stanley commented.

“Within 24 hours I had pitched The Nest idea to the site managers who agreed to allow me to have the wood and then began a very long and tough process of removing the wood and getting it to Aberdeen to begin work on the installation.”

Stanley, who has always had an interest in art and making throughout his time as a coppersmith and  while working in the oil industry, then began talks with The Maryculter Woodlands Trust, which bought into his vision and supported his concept for a community art installation.

Stanley added: “With support from my tutors at Gray’s School of Art and many others, the project really began to take shape and new elements of community engagement began to steer me in different angles.

“We have now worked with more than 130 school children to create nest and bug boxes to be installed in The Nest, which will provide shelter and home to a whole range of wildlife.

“Originally destined for landfill, this timber now has new life, saving nature’s bounty from destruction for all to enjoy in the wonderful setting of a community wood in Maryculter.”

Due to the hardiness of the Greenheart wood, it is hoped that Stanley’s sculpture could stand for over one hundred years.

Ed Thorogood, Vice Chair of The Maryculter Woodland Trust, added: “Our primary aim is to restore the wood to native species to enhance biodiversity. We also want to make the wood interesting for visitors, particularly for school pupils and students.

“The Nest is therefore a great addition to our wood, embracing a community spirit, promoting health and education and helping wildlife.”

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