RESILIENCE BENCH is a unique one-off made for the After The Storm Exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBGE), Edinburgh. A major storm caused devastation in the garden followed by a period of change and regeneration. This provided timber for a new collection of furniture by Scottish furniture makers and we were struck by the importance of resilience. The image above shows the Resilience Bench in the garden at the site of the original oak tree. Angus chose to combine the RBGE oak with native ash to shine a spotlight on two diseases currently affecting British trees. Ash Die Back and Sudden Oak Death are insidious and devastating diseases that will result in the loss of many trees (90% of ash trees in Denmark are infected with Ash Die Back and some key British species are infected with Sudden Oak Death pathogen). The loss of trees will have a major long term impact on the thousands of species they support – far more damaging than storms. In the management of our woodland we try to improve resilience of trees by controlling invasive species, highly selective felling (with one tree felled within a group) improving the light and space for remaining trees.
The seat of RBGE oak has been scorched and wire brushed: in Japan the technique is known as shou sugi ban. Angus often uses the technique in exterior oak furniture particularly public art furniture as it creates a durable and vandal resistant finish. In the bench, the beautiful textured surface, represents resilience and the earth. What happens in the earth has a huge impact on the plants and trees above.
A seat is supported by a delicate apparently fragile flowing line of steam-bent olive ash and hand-turned spindles reminding us of the inter-dependence of all life.
Dimensions width 160 x depth 56 x height 78 cm
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