Saturday 7th July 2018 witnessed the launch of Hoodwinked 2018, Nottingham's stunning new public art trail, featuring a twist of the tale of local legendary outlaw Robin Hood: 33 giant Robin statues have flocked to the streets of Nottingham, each one hand-painted by an artist. This free public art trail is presented by Nottingham City Council in partnership with creative events producers Wild in Art and charity partner Nottinghamshire Hospice, for whom the Robin symbolises hope after the passing of a loved one. Wild in Art is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia is proud to publicly reveal her design entitled Green Man of Sherwood Forest, which is generously sponsored by Benoy. Graham Cartledge CBE of Benoy writes: "We are delighted to show our support to Nottinghamshire Hospice, a very well-deserving local charity. The Hoodwinked initiative will attract visitors and locals alike, encouraging people in our community to connect through creativity - something that is at the heart of what our designers do at Benoy."
You can find Green Man of Sherwood Forest in Trinity Square, Nottingham, from 7th July until 30th September 2018. He looks forward to meeting you! ;-)
Left to right: the Sheriff of Nottingham, Jason Curtis, Green Man of Sherwood Forest, Lois Cordelia, Graham Cartledge (Benoy) Photo credit: Whitefoot Photography. Used with kind permission. Above - left to right: the Sheriff of Nottingham, Jason Curtis (model for the two portraits of the Green Man), Lois Cordelia (artist), Graham Cartledge (CBE of Benoy). Nottingham Castle, Thursday 5th July 2018. Photo credit: Whitefoot Photography - used with kind permission.
Benoy is a global family of design specialists committed to delivering world-class solutions for the built environment. Balancing creative vision with commercial viability, Benoy works with clients to create iconic destinations that enrich people’s lives, strengthen communities, enhance nature, and deliver lasting economic value. Benoy was founded by Gordon Benoy as a small architectural company in rural Nottinghamshire. Today, it has design studios in the United Kingdom, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. The company is primarily known for its global retail architecture, with projects such as Westfield London UK, Elements, Hong Kong, and ION Singapore. Its philosophy is that 'creativity and viability are not mutually exclusive'.
Lois's partner Jason (appropriately also an archer and expert leatherworker) kindly agreed to model for the two portraits of the Green Man, one of which winks in a mischievous spirit.
Left to right: Graham Cartledge (Benoy), Lois Cordelia,Green Man of Sherwood Forest, Jason Curtis, the Sheriff of Nottingham Photo credit: Whitefoot Photography. Used with kind permission. Nottingham Castle, Thursday 5th July 2018. Photo credit: Whitefoot Photography - used with kind permission. Photo credit: Whitefoot Photography. Used with kind permission. Nottingham Castle, Thursday 5th July 2018. Photo credit: Whitefoot Photography - used with kind permission.
Lois and Jason were accompanied by this impetuous little fox, all clad in Lincoln green. Jason had made a miniature longbow and an exquisite hand-embossed leather quiver for the fox, who goes by the affectionate name of Fluff, and was quite the star of the show! Jason designs and creates stylish, high quality and ethically sourced leather goods to commission for personalised gifts, costume and historical reenactment. He specialises in archery equipment and holsters.
Lois tells the story behind her Robin design in this 4 minute video:
Lois has recently explored the theme of the Green Man in a variety of unusual art mediums, including paper-cutting, creative cartography, and upcycled plastic straws. Now she is proud to have depicted this timeless symbol on a public art statue in the heart of Nottingham.
Lois remarks: "The Green Man or Foliate Face often appears in ancient carvings as a face surrounded by oak leaves. It is generally interpreted as a symbol of the endless cycles of rebirth, re-growth or re-greening in Nature. In today's world, it has an urgent ecological relevance, reminding us of the fragile balance of Nature. It is as if we stand face to face with the spirit of Nature, who meets us with a calm, level gaze... or a playful mischievous grin! Many Green Man carvings suggest this playful game of hide and seek amongst the foliage. I have often incorporated Green Man imagery into my artwork, capturing different facial expressions and characters.
"Many folklorists claim that the legend of Robin Hood is derived from the ancient image of the Green Man, or related figures such as Jack in the Green or Robin Goodfellow (Puck). No surprise that Robin Hood is clothed in Lincoln Green. The mischievous outlaw could be hiding in any disguise!"
Lois travelled to Nottingham in April to paint her design onto the Robin statue, painting live alongside other Hoodwinked 2018 artists in a public painting space at intu Broadmarsh.