Saturday, 20 December 2014
AN old tree that was damaged by strong winds has been carved into a stunning sculpture that is being described as a roaring success. After taking a battering during storms the 70-year-old oak tree was posing a danger to Victoria Park’s visitors. Initially, the plan of park officer Jill Barlow was to use the trunk of the tree to make a bench at the park, near the beautifully restored venue’s bandstand. However, when sculptor Thompson Dagnall, 58, was contacted he developed the idea to revive one of the park’s old features and make a carving based on a tiger statue from the Mansion House museum, which produced so many fond and scary memories. Visitors to the park watched with fascination over the weeks as the ‘big cat’s’ fearsome frame was carved into the fallen tree. This week Kirkby-born Thompson, who for the past 25 years has crafted public artworks in stone, wood, steel and cast iron, shared more details of its creation. In keeping with the musical theme of the bandstand, the tiger is playing the jungle drums. But he doubles as a bench too, enabling people to watch performances on the bandstand, and is an intriguing backdrop to the park run, which attracts hundreds of entrants each Saturday morning. “There were worries that the tree could crush the bandstand and so it had to come down,” said Thom, who worked on the miners’ monument that stands near the YMCA roundabout, off Duke Street, in St Helens town centre. “Jill asked me to have a look at it with a view to doing a bench, but with it being so close to the bandstand I thought it would be perfect to link it in and make a kettle drum. “And as soon as I heard about the tiger I thought the tree would lend itself to the animal, so I thought ‘why not?’ “I was there working on it for about seven days over a three-week period until it was finished.” The tiger bench has swiftly become an attraction for visitors, who have been busy snapping pictures of themselves alongside it.
NEWS LINK--THAILAND-Cat fight! Photographer captures amazing action images of big cats clashing at Thailand's controversial Tiger Temple sanctuary
Endangered Indochinese tigers fight and frolic in the water and between rocks, doing what comes naturally, in these impressive images from photographer and filmmaker Peter Adams taken at Thailand's controversial Tiger Temple.
The attraction has come under fire from animal welfare groups for the way their star attractions are treated, but Adams was nothing but impressed when he visited the park linked to the Theravada Buddhist temple in Kanchanaburi in western Thailand.
And while tiger selfies are usually the order of the day, the 55-year-old from Gloucestershire wanted to capture the young tigers up to mischief rather than laying about for tourists. 'I spent a day visiting the temple as a normal tourist but was able to get incredibly close to the tigers,' Adams says. 'They were young and extremely playful, instigating some of the games with some of the monks who have brought them up, so they're used to human contact.'
Adams says he was able to get within touching distance of the tigers while they played together in their enclosures and watched them get showered and fed.
'It seemed incredible to me to get so close to these magnificent creatures, even to stroke them,' he says. 'It did feel slightly surreal taking these pictures being so close to something essentially wild and dangerous and to see their tremendous power as they run towards you.
'My instinct told me to back away, but my urge to get strong photographs was telling me to get closer.'
'There has been some controversy over the temple as there is with a lot of wildlife centres, however during my visit the tigers seemed very well treated and looked after.
'It was a magical experience.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2880570/Cat-fight-Photographer-captures-amazing-action-images-cubs-clashing-Thailand-s-controversial-Tiger-Temple-sanctuary.html#ixzz3MRzxHPbz