The Award selected Butterfly Conservation as the recipient of the 2018 commission. This year marked their 50th anniversary as the national charity dedicated to the conservation of butterflies and moths, and it was a charity which Richard Seager supported for many years. Following discussions, it was decided that the most appropriate commission would be a new entrance gate into Butterfly Conservation’s flagship Rough Bank Reserve in Gloucestershire.
The number of applications received this year was double that of 2017, and included applications from furniture makers/designers, blacksmiths, fine artists, experimental artists, a graphic designer, architects, a sculptor, a shipwright and a coded welder. There were also two applications from individuals who had trained in the United Kingdom and who were working abroad.
THE 5 FINALISTS WERE:
- ALICE BLOGG (furniture designer/maker) AND POPPY BOOTH (undergraduate at Kingston University, studying furniture and product design)
- DANE STEVENS (artist blacksmith)
- DIANA BURCH (experimental fine artist)
- TOBY FORBES-GOWER (artist blacksmith)
- TORSTEN SHERWOOD (architect/product and furniture designer)
THE WINNER: TOBY FORBES-GOWER
CLICK HERE to read Zealous Ltd.’s articles about Toby, his work and how he approached this commission. CLICK HERE to visit Toby’s website .
Toby worked with Prof Anne Boddington and John Davis (Head of Reserves at Butterfly Conservation), to refine his concept drawing and to provide assurances that the gate would withstand exposure to the British weather. He visited the site before starting work on the gate and met with members and volunteers of the Gloucestershire branch of Butterfly Conservation. Butterfly Conservation arranged for the ground to be prepared and scrub cleared from the site before the gate was installed at the end of May 2018.
The gate was officially unveiled on 30th June 2018 by the ecologist and television presenter, Mike Dilger, who is a Vice President of Butterfly Conservation. Mike spoke about the importance of getting young people interested in conservation.
Members of Butterfly Conservation lead guided tours of the reserve, explaining why this site in the Cotswolds is so important for their work, sharing their knowledge of the many species of butterfly and moth and their habitat observed during the day.
Butterfly Conservation has updated their Rough Bank Reserve leaflet to include information about the gate’s designer/maker, Toby Forbes-Gower and the Award commission which funded it. They will be including an article about their collaboration with the Award in their members’ magazine, which will be published in November 2018.
Members of Butterfly Conservation after the unveiling.
Key people involved with this commission are John Davis, Head of Reserves (second from left), Peter Hugo, local volunteer (third from left), Sue Smith, Chair of the Gloucestershire branch (fifth from left) and Becky Miners, Senior Individual Giving Officer (second from right).