In May and June 2011, Wendy and Dave took part in the tri-annual Bergh Apton Sculpture Trail, for which over 60 East Anglian Sculptors contributed over 250 sculptures. This prestigious event took place over 3 weekends, where sculptures were arranged around the church and in 14 gardens and grounds throughout the Norfolk village, just south west of Norwich. Visitors were invited to spend one or two days walking or cycling from garden to garden along pleasant country lanes and paths, to view sculpture, heritage skills demonstrations, including Dave and Wendy Blacksmithing, with musical interludes and refreshments along the way and a Mystery Play performed once each weekend. The organization of the event and participation of the whole village was impressive; many visitors had travelled quite a distance and were not disappointed.
Entitled “The Journey”, the theme of this year’s trail was the building of a medieval church, such as Bergh Apton with the many and diverse Crafts and Trades people who would have travelled sometimes 100’s of miles to work there, together with the sacred journeys of pilgrims. This theme was interpreted and expressed in a wide variety of ways utilizing many different media.
Wendy exhibited sculptures: “Church and State”, “Exploratree” and “The Forgotten Artist”:
and Dave: “Hellfire and Damnation Preacher” and “All the Graves in Heaven are Full”.
Of the 1000’s of visitors, a large number were fascinated by the Forging Demonstrations and Exhibition of St Mary’s Forge work, as well as the sculptures, which included a “museum” of “archaeological” pieces, many of which had been dug up from the Forge garden! This enthusiam and the positive feedback on the sculptures were encouraging for the blacksmiths who were very taken with the welcome and hospitality of their hosts, making for a thoroughly enjoyable 3 weekends.
With the continuity generated by the theme running through the event, from the germs of ideas to the creation of works of art, communication and expression of their skills allowing physical realization of the concepts, the whole experience represented a “Journey” for these Artist Blacksmiths.