Masterclass! Fen artist Jeni unveils sculpture for £9.3m Willow Court development in Whittlesey

PUBLISHED: 12:28 07 February 2020

Jeni Cairns with her Weeping Willows sculpture at the Willow Court development in Whittlesey. Picture: LONGHURST GROUP

Jeni Cairns with her Weeping Willows sculpture at the Willow Court development in Whittlesey. Picture: LONGHURST GROUP

Archant

A metal sculpture of a weeping willow tree has been installed at a multi-million pound assisted living development in Whittlesey.

The Weeping Willows sculpture at the Willow Court development in Whittlesey. Picture: LONGHURST GROUPThe Weeping Willows sculpture at the Willow Court development in Whittlesey. Picture: LONGHURST GROUP

The structure at the £9.3m Willow Court development on Eastrea Road was designed and constructed by local artist Jeni Cairns, who specialises in metal work linked to nature.

The Longhurst Group, which is delivering the 60-apartment complex, commissioned the artwork to act as a focal point in the garden area of the scheme.

Denise Banks, head of interior design at Longhurst Group, said: "I was really keen to add an attraction to the garden area at Willow Court and thought the best way to do that was to have a sculpture resembling a Willow tree.

"A colleague of mine introduced me to Jeni and I have been keen to involve the local community where I can in the design process of Willow Court, so with her being local, it was a perfect fit.

Work carried out on the Weeping Willows sculpture in Whittlesey. Picture: LONGHURST GROUPWork carried out on the Weeping Willows sculpture in Whittlesey. Picture: LONGHURST GROUP

"I am over the moon with the finished piece."

The development, which is funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, Fenland District Council and Homes England, was expected to be complete in January after it was originally due to open in October last year.

"I live a few miles from Willow Court, so I think Denise liked the fact I was local and worked with metals," Jeni said.

"She wanted something bold and based around a willow tree.

"I took the idea of a weeping willow as I like the way the leaves hang down. I wanted to create the tree in a three-dimensional way and to make it abstract to an extent.

"The piece took me a couple of weeks to complete and the whole process was really good.

"Denise gave me lots of scope to do my own thing. I think it will be a wonderful focal point in the garden of Willow Court.

"I hope those who move in to Willow Court like the piece when they see it."

People with visual impairment can also enjoy the sculpture as a wind-chime effect has been added to the leaves.

"We will also be installing a plaque naming the sculpture and the artist, so it really can be a highlight of the garden," Ms Banks added.

For more information about Willow Court, visit https://www.longhurst-group.org.uk/willow-court.

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