Artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie need help to create an ambitious public artwork entirely out of mud!
'Tomorrow, Today' will be an enormous walk-through scale model of the paths and buildings that will be part of the new community at the North West Cambridge Development. The model will be entirely constructed using cob (mud and straw) and will be approximately 75metres in length and one metre in height. Cob is an ancient, sustainable and increasingly popular building technique that will use material from the site. The television show, Grand Designs, recently featured an incredible home built entirely from cob in Cornwall.
The idea emerged from the artists' year-long residency with the Cambridge University Archaeology Department and will re-use the earth dug from the recent archaeological excavations. The archaeology has unveiled that the area had a rich history with vibrant settlements throughout the ages from the pre-historic to Roman periods, including burials, coins, pottery, and even early 20th century University research buildings.
Construction of the scale model will start in late April and there are plenty of opportunities for people to participate, learn and practise cob construction skills themselves. The artists are inviting participants to sign up for one of six 5-day courses on offer which will include masterclass tuition from a cob expert, lunch, tea and plenty of mud!
Karen Guthrie said "We are excited to be embarking on such a major project and really welcome members of the public to join in with us. Whilst cob is easy 'when you know how' there are few opportunities to learn this skill hands-on in the UK, so we're delighted to be offering tuition with Kate Edwards, a recognised expert in the field, from whom I learnt cobbing."
Nina added "It's been fascinating for us to observe and take part in the North West Cambridge archaeological digs. Seeing how archaeologists piece together the past from such frail fragments of finds made us think about how to imagine the future of a place without anything more than architects' drawings. We hope this project will bring together people to consider the future of the North West Cambridge Development as they work together."
If you are interested in participating in one of the cob courses please email the firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Cob Coordinator - Kirsten on 07545 218251.
One week course costs £50 per person and £25 for concessions. The first week course begins on 28 April and will run for five weeks thereafter. The booking deadline is 31 March 2014.