Giant conker & fir cone moved from Kings Hill

There were some double-takes at Kings Hill when a trailer was towed through the development carrying a glistening 1.5m conker and a giant fir cone.

The conker and fir cone – moved later the same day - are the work of Cornish sculptor Daniel Sodhi-Miles who had been exhibiting the artworks in two of the office buildings at Kings Hill. To make way for the next Kings Hill office art exhibition, the sculptor was moving them to London where they are going on show at the Palace Art Fair, Fulham Palace.

The realistic looking conker, partly encased in its shell, was carved from the wood of a giant redwood tree, originally a botanical specimen, commissioned by Greenpeace. 

The giant fir cone was inspired by those produced by the Norwegian Spruce, the timber used most commonly for construction. Weighing almost a tonne and made from a sweet chestnut tree sourced from the grounds of a manor house, it was created at Glastonbury as part of the same Greenpeacecommission as the conker.

“Both pieces were part of our programme of rolling art exhibitions,” said Andrew Blevins, managing director of Kings Hill developer Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd. “Our curator, June Frickleton, selects an eclectic collection of artworks every three months and displays them in the communal areas of some of our office buildings.

“As a company we are keen supporters of the arts, and pleased to be able to provide free gallery space to artists who, in return, loan their works free of charge. The reaction to the exhibitions from people working in the buildings, and their visitors, is very positive.

“The conker is particularly topical as the World Conker Championships are about to be staged and there has been recent media reporting of the disease that is afflicting so many of the nation’s horse chestnut trees.”

Daniel Sodhi-Miles is a self taught carpenter and sculptor and many of the objects he creates appear calm and aesthetically pleasing, yet the processes used in their creation are often noisy, dusty and aggressive. He uses traditional skills and tools alongside computed aided design and manufacturing processes to createcontemporary interventions and objects.

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