I knew nothing about moss until a couple of years ago when I read Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It’s a book which is both poetic and informative about the unique and transformative properties of moss, and since reading it the mosses on our local moorland have been a real source of inspiration for my work. Sphagnum, found in boggy areas, is all about its capacity to hold water and gradually form peat, – which is so precious for storing carbon. To have the opportunity to design a fountain which celebrates that affinity with water and would use the water which comes off the moor was great. It was lovely to hear that the design had been shortlisted because it felt like a celebration of the sphagnum itself, of the work which is going into protecting and restoring it, and of our reciprocal relationship with the local landscape.
The public now votes and the winner’s design will be fabricated to feature as a permanent sculpture within the basin of the renovated fountain at Brook Street, Ilkley.
BBC news report about the competition can be read here.