Willow sculptor displays latest creation for charity art show

Robert Yates from Brampton Willows has created giant willow mushrooms to go on display at the Art fo

Robert Yates from Brampton Willows has created giant willow mushrooms to go on display at the Art for Cure exhibition. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A Suffolk sculptor will be displaying his latest willow creation alongside artwork from the likes of music superstar Ed Sheeran to raise funds for a cancer charity.

Robert Yates, owner of Brampton Willows, has made a cluster of giant mushrooms as sculptural pieces for the garden with rusted steel caps to protect the willow from the elements.

The mushrooms will go on display at the Art For Cure exhibition at Glemham Hall, near Saxmundham, in aid of Breast Cancer Now, which is being held for the second time following the success of the first event in 2014.

The creation follows on from a giant willow King Kong sculpture Mr Yates made to be shipped off to The Seychelles and a four-metre diameter willow propeller, which went on display at the first Art for Cure exhibition.

Mr Yates said: 'They asked me if I would like to take part again and I thought this time I would create something for the garden.

'You see a lot of mushrooms about as garden ornaments and I thought it was an interesting shape to create.

'I wanted to take the theme of my work to another level by making a feature out of the steel rather than just covering it with willow.

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'The steel cap on top will protect the willow from the rain and sun and I have been wanting to create something with rusty steel for a while.

'The colour and the texture of the steel and willow are a wonderful combination.'

The mushrooms took four weeks to make and the willow is woven around a stainless steel armature, with the giant mushroom also doubling up as a seat. Mr Yates said: 'The oak I used for the seat came from one of our trees which got struck by lightning a few years ago, so it is nice to use something which had to come down anyway.

'And I used a very dense weave on the stalk to give it a lovely spiral texture.'

Mr Yates' work will go on display alongside more than 70 well-known artists and sculptors at the exhibition, which runs from Saturday, April 30 to Monday, May 2. It is organised by Belinda Gray and Sally Ball who have both been diagnosed with breast cancer in the last four years.

Mr Yates said: 'I'm very proud to be contributing to this event again and it is for such a noble cause which is close to most people's hearts.'

Each exhibitor will donate a percentage of their sales to the charity, and last year's event raised over £100,000. A number of high profile celebrities have also shown their support by painting a canvas to be auctioned at the event, with creations from Ed Sheeran, Joan Collins and Delia Smith to name a few.

For more information visit www.artforcure.org.uk