The living sculpture is a major attraction in this 400-year-old Lost Gardens of Heligan
Art is one of humanity's many ways of pure expression, where we bring forth our deepest being and passions to life. For most artists, nature itself is the biggest inspiration and it's not surprising why. The intricacy of colors, textures, and shapes that we find all around us serve an entire lifetime of artwork and craftsmanship. In today's journey, we head to the ancient land of Cornwall which is a county in the Southwest of England. There are many legends and folktales that surround this place, from the origins of giants and pixies to stories of the eternal King Arthur and his valiant knights. It's a place of pure magic and we came across the most spectacular of sculptures there.
Located within the region is the mystical Lost Gardens of Heligan, a magnificent project that has been carefully undertaken across 200 acres in an effort to revive the place once more. There is an abundance of lush greenery all across the area which attracts nature enthusiasts and romantic adventurers alike. There is one particular sculpture that is quite prominent in the region and that is the Mud Maid sculpture. This is an exquisite humanoid sculpture was created by siblings, Pete and Sue Hill back in 1997, SuccessLifeLounge reports.
It's basically a statue of a sleeping woman, with a sign in front of the enclosure that reads: “Shh, while she sleeps, please do not cross this fence as we do not wish to wake the Mud Maid.”
This fascinating attraction is an example of a form of living art. This means that through the different seasons of the year, her 'clothing' and 'hairstyle' will appear to change. During the spring and summertime, she looks very different than she would in Autumn or Winter. The subtle changes of fresh growing grass or ivy from bright greens all the way to a brown fall season and snowy winter has a profound impact on the statue.
Pete and Sue Hill, known to be unusual artists, want their viewers to enjoy the "living changes" in a piece of art or craft. So that was the inspiration behind The Mud Maid. It is built with a hollow frame carved from wood. Next, a strong netting material possessing tacky mud was attached to it and was eventually sculpted into the humanoid form that it finally became. After that, more mud, cement, and sand were added to fine-tune her delicate features. In fact, yogurt was coated on the statue to encourage the growth of lichens! Her head is made up of a lot of Woodsege and Montbretia whilst ivy is her clothing. The living sculptures are the major attraction for thousands of people who visit the 400-year-old garden every year.
Sometime in the early 20th century, there were many of the experienced gardeners who carefully tended the garden where the Mud Maid rests. These gardeners were called to the frontlines to fight in World War I. When it was finally over though, there were far fewer caretakers who returned and that resulted in the estate falling into disorder. Thankfully, the statue has breathed some new life into the surroundings and it is now well taken care of.