How to Survive the Coming Bad Years, 2008. Soil, straw, water, timber, lime and ceramic pipes. Attingham Park, Shropshire, UK. Commissioned by Meadow Arts for the exhibition Give Me Shelter
In an ancient woodland at the core of Attingham’s vast 4,000 acre land, an immense clay structure rises through the trees like an oversized Dalek. Both alien and primeval, How to Survive the Coming Bad Years, by Heather and Ivan Morrison, is inspired by traditional rookeries found throughout the Middle East where in return for shelter, the birds provide squab to eat and guano to fertilise the land on which food is cultivated. Ivan and Heather Morison’s huge lime covered cob sculpture suggests the vestige of an other worldly civilisation or perhaps a post-apocalyptic future. In this case the structure will provide a nesting environment for Attingham’s bird-life, but in return they must give up a share of their young.