Lockdown clay creatures released into Tranby Lodge Gate woodland

Podcast: 8 minutes

Community and creativity have come together as Tranby Lodge Gate woodland and wildlife haven hosts the ‘release’ of over 60 unique stoneware clay animal sculptures made by Hessle residents during lockdown.

Pam Locker, who initiated and delivered the project, explained: “Lockdown presented a unique opportunity to bring together a diverse group of our community to connect in a new way and, with normal avenues of social interaction restricted, to come together to engage with a new skill, meet new people and share in the creative process.”

clay sculpture
Over 60 clay creature sculptures were created by local residents during coronavirus lockdown. Photo: Jerome Whittingham @photomoments

“Participants were aged 5 to 85, many complete novices. Guided by virtual tutorials and sharing progress with each other via social media, they were given 1kg of clay to create a creature of their choice. By the end of July, all manner of wondrous creatures returned to the pottery to dry out before firing. They are now ready to meet their public!” said Pam.

clay creatures
Clay Creatures on display at Tranby Lodge Gate woodland, Hessle. Photo: Jerome Whittingham @photomoments

The project’s participants have created a wide variety of creatures, inspired by the green space. Some, like hedgehogs and snails, you might find in the little wildlife haven. Other creatures have a more fantastical appearance, and you probably wouldn’t welcome bumping into them during a visit to the woodland!

clay sculpture hedgehog
Clay Creatures at Tranby Lodge Gate woodland. Photo: Jerome Whittingham @photomoments
clay creatures
A fantastical Clay Creature at Tranby Lodge Gate woodland. Photo: Jerome Whittingham @photomoments

Many of the sculptors were creating in clay for the first time, and needed a little guidance or help, which Pam provided online or via social media.

Pam said: “People would get stuck, or an ear would fall off, or they would drop everything. But the great thing about clay is that it’s always redeemable. Before it’s fired you can always rescue it.

“Everyone had great fun doing it. They found it relaxing and a great stress reliever during these difficult time. It took them to another place.”

This activity is the first of many which aim to raise awareness of the wildlife haven’s existence, and to help protect it from development.

Tranby Lodge Gate
Tranby Lodge Gate, Hessle – Clay Creatures exhibition.

Pam explained: “COVID 19 has meant that we as a community and society as a whole have become acutely aware of the importance of open space for our wellbeing. By hosting the Clay Creatures exhibition at Tranby Lodge Gate we hope to illustrate the manner in which nature is intrinsically connected to our community and its wellbeing. With support from Hessle town Council, the Friends of Tranby Lodge are hosting this Clay Creatures Exhibition. Our collective aim is to protect Tranby Lodge Gate from development for all our creatures, not least our children and grandchildren.”

Facebook: Save Tranby Lodge Gate Land

[Jerome Whittingham – editor HULL IS THIS]