A NEW sculpture has been unveiled in woodlands representing “the life and nature of a felled tree”.

Artist Paul Tuppeny revealed his work, “Up To Now”, at Wilderness Wood in Hadlow Down, on Wednesday.

The 11m high artwork has become known locally as “the upside-down tree sculpture”, but Paul said it is much more than this. 

The Hove artist said: “Up To Now sets out to hold in a single object the life and ‘nature’ of a felled tree. 

“It begins at its base as a slim, green shoot, steadily widening in girth as it grows taller, finally terminating at its top with the horizontal cut that ended its life. 

“This is a tree as we know a tree rather than as we see one; it is held as a living, growing, changing organism, but one of finite duration. 

The Argus:

“The phenomena by which we understand a tree’s growth are aligned in a single upward vector which acts, in turn, as a spatial expression of the passage of time.”

The sculpture hangs on suspension wires in the woodland.

Paul said it is as much a product of Wilderness Wood as the chestnut tree at its centre which was felled in March.

Work experience students helped remove some of the bark and the woodland’s owners, Emily Charkin and Dan Morrish, as well as the other staff and volunteers, also joined in.

The Argus:

The sculpture was inaugurated as part of the woods’ Working With Wood Week, a residential course where people get to fully experience human interactions with the woodland environment.

Wilderness Wood offers opportunities to learn practical skills and crafts and dozens of events take place throughout the year.

Paul Tuppeny is a member of The Royal Society of Sculptors and British Society for Phenomenology. 

The Argus:

He is currently engaged in PhD research at Chelsea College of Art into our experience of “age” in the objects that constitute our world.

Paul has an MA in Fine Art from University of Brighton and was highly commended in the National Sculpture Prize 2016.