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Don't Let Go by Laura Ellen Bacon

In 2019, the British sculptor Laura Ellen Bacon was commissioned to make a temporary sculpture at the University of Warwick. Her brief was to make a work that contributed to the ecology of the campus. The natural materials of the work meant that it is subject to natural decay. In 2024, the work was removed to complete its return to the earth

Laura Ellen Bacon (born 1976) transforms raw, predominately natural materials into large-scale artworks in both interior and landscape settings. Her sculptures, which have been described as ‘monumental yet intimate’, ‘frenzied yet calm’, embrace, surround or engulf architectural and natural structures. Previously, the artist’s work has been seen in places such as Chatsworth, Somerset House, New Art Centre and Saatchi Gallery.

In June 2019 she spent four weeks making the site-specific work, Don't Let Go here on campus. Created at a time when the sharp decline in insect numbers hit the headlines, the title was inspired by the mutually supportive relationship between trees and the insects that inhabit them. The sculpture provided a home for insects and small birds such as wrens.

Insects are a vital component in the biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems, playing a number of roles – from degrading or consuming leaves, wood, carrion and dung to dispersing fungi and providing an important food source for other animals. Laura Ellen Bacon described this work as resembling a ‘colony’ of life forms either clinging to and multiplying on the tree, or pouring from it. These forms may be interpreted as supportive, similarly to the tree’s own root structure; or as parasitic, such as a climbing vine or fungus. Overall these separate yet inter-connected forms provide a visual representation of the complexity of an ecosystem, within which destruction and decay is symbiotically linked with nutrition and procreation. This artwork, built around – yet separate to – a tree was created in the knowledge that over time it degrades and decomposes, a process supported by the insects currently living within it.

Don't Let Go by Laura Ellen Bacon.

Don't Let Go by Laura Ellen Bacon

To find out more about Laura and her work you can visit her website Laura Ellen BaconLink opens in a new window.

You can also view a film about her work. Laura Ellen Bacon FilmLink opens in a new window