Willow Sculpture Celebrates Graduate Success

29 September 2010

willow launch

L-R Laura Ellen Bacon, Dianne Jeffrey, Rachel Carter and Professor John Coyne

It feels really good that the University has recognised us and the work we do as graduates in this unique way. 

Rachel Carter, Sculptor and University of Derby Graduate

An original outdoor sculpture created by University of Derby graduates was unveiled at a special ceremony at the University's Kedleston Road site on Tuesday September 28.

The two willow-weaving sculptors and Derby graduates, Rachel Carter and Laura Ellen Bacon, teamed up for the first time to design and create the iconic red steel and willow sculpture sculpture, named 'Linking Forms'.

Chair of the University's Governing Council, Dianne Jeffrey, unveiled the sculpture in front of a gathered audience of 33 guests from the University, Derby City Council and Derby's art community.

Welcoming people to the event, University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Coyne, said: "These talented artists have created a piece of art that reflects the values of the University, and the piece will evolve over time. It is a wonderful sculpture at the front of our Kedleston Road site and greeting people in this way is a wonderful exemplar of the sort of University we are."

Chair of Governing Council, Dianne Jeffrey, said: "This sculpture is the most amazing concept and it also has a much deeper significance; representing the institution, sustainability and the student journey. We only have one chance to make a first impression when people come to Kedleston Road for
the first time and they will be drawn to this dynamic sculpture."

Both artists are from the Derby area and despite the current difficult economic climate, both have gone on to forge sound and innovative businesses in the region. Laura Ellen Bacon has appeared on Countryfile with her willow pieces, while Rachel was a star at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Rachel Carter said: "It feels really good that the University has recognised us and the work we do as graduates in this unique way."

Laura Ellen Bacon added: "As graduates, the greatest legacy we can leave is to offer the opportunity for students in the future to evolve the sculpture, as this sculpture has the capacity to develop."

Watch the video

For further media information please contact Alumni Relations Officer Laura Ratcliffe on 01332 591368 or 07768 091248, or email l.ratcliffe@derby.ac.uk.

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