In July 2005 I was commissioned by Open Arts and the North Kirklees Primary Care Trust to create a suspended artwork for the main atrium space at Batley Health Centre, West Yorkshire.
I designed and built an airship sculpture (zeppelin style) manned by 5 of my fairy characters. The airship is a massive (for me) 3 metres long from end to end and hangs 2 metres from top to bottom. My usually tiny characters had to be scaled up significantly for this particular project.
Despite the scale the same intricate techniques and carefully chosen materials were utilised. The vehicle was laboriously constructed in soldered and mechanically fixed brass, the air balloon structure was covered in stretched fabric and the fairies were still stitched in hand dyed leather. The sculpture takes inspiration from the environment in which it is placed. I have created a rest, resuscitation and recovery facility for fairies…………”Brain’s Blimpulance Mark 1”.
The sign that accompanied the piece in the atrium space read:
“A rise in cramp related injury (fairies falling out of the sky) has resulted in the launch of Brain’s new fleet of air rescue vehicles. Introducing Brain’s Blimpulance Mark 1 An airborne facility for fairies who become distressed during flight. Providing high quality treatment and rapid response to those suffering the effects of fatigue, a simple lack of fitness or most hazardous mid-flight cramp.
Each facility boasts a comfortable recovery suite, emergency oxygen supply, rescue winch and auxiliary steam power for rapid response rescue. Numerous hammocks provide fairies with the opportunity to rest and recover.”