Image: Robert Bloomfield
Artist: Robert Koenig
Title: After the Uprising: Rebel Leader Wat Tyler and his Followers after the Suppression of the Peasants Revolt in 1381
Material: 7 Sweet Chestnut Trees
Height: 3.35 Metres (x7)
In 1381 peasants from the Essex marshland villages marched on London to protest against the poll tax. The rebellion was quickly suppressed. Most of the rebels were allowed to go home but the leaders were pursued, captured and executed. The leader of the peasant’s revolt was Wat Tyler.
In order to represent this mass of humanity marching on London Robert Koenig chose to carve 7 symbolic figures from sweet chestnut trees. Wat Tyler stands proudly at the front of this group, other figures are bound and captive behind him. Sited in a clearing and looking as if they have just emerged from the wooded area behind them the eleven foot carvings convey a sense of the drama of the event and its often overlooked importance in the history of the area.