Maggie Campbell - Living Willow Viking boat

Image: DOT

Maggie Campbell Sculpture

Image: Robert Bloomfield

Artist Maggie Campbell

Title: The Living Willow Viking Boat
Material: Willow, Wood and Bunting
Length: 9 x 18 Metres
Date: 2006

The Living Willow Viking Boat, complete with fluttering bunting, is both a meeting place and a public artwork. The artwork is ‘site-specific’ - the site’s proximity to the Thames Estuary and the 12th century Norse invasions of East Anglia inform the work. Its peaceful location, wide views from its elevated position and abundant seating make it the perfect place to meet in.

The boat was built by artist Maggie Campbell and a group of children from Cherry Tree Primary School during a wet, cold and windy winter half term. Together they staked out the willow uprights and then wove in willow wands or ‘withies’, rather like weaving a basket. Finally they attached shields to the boat sides. Willow was chosen as the primary building material for the boat because it often grows close to water, is suitable for use by children and is a durable natural material. Living willow was used because of the added interest that the artwork would offer as it grew and changed.

Maggie Campbell works with a wide range of materials and undertakes a wide variety of projects, workshops and commissions.