Caroline Shipsey

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Farewell Swans of Wells

 Guinivere - She built a nest of silver leaves 
No.21Bishop's Palace Moat

Last night was the culmination of the Swans of Wells event with a gala dinner held in the Bishop's Palace and the auction of all the swans.
 I watched the auction on eager to see just how much money some of my favourites would sell for. Two swans in particular had won the hearts of the people of Wells - Guinivere, who has graced the moat at the entrance to the Bishops Palace, and Hot Fuzz at the Police station. Sculptor Ian Marlow created the beautiful nest of leaves for Guinivere, who symbolized the theme of the project.  The film Hot Fuzz was filmed in Wells, many locals performed as extras and familiar locations appear throughout the film.


Guinivere - She built a nest of silver leaves No.21Bishop's Palace Moat

Hot Fuzz No.23, Wells Police Station

From the Swans of Wells website:-
 Swans have been synonymous with Wells in Somerset for centuries, where resident swans patrol the stunning 13th century Bishop's Palace, which has been home to the Bishop of Bath and Wells for over 800 years.

 The swans of Wells have the unusual habit of ringing a bell by the Palace drawbridge to ask for food. This unusual spectacle started 200 years ago, when the daughter of an 19th century Bishop taught her favourite swan to ring the gatehouse bell for scraps of food, a technique that has been passed down the swan generations! 

 Swans of Wells 2012 is a major tourism initiative for Somerset, which has featured the public display of sixty, magnificently decorated, 5ft swan sculptures, one for each of the sixty years of the Queen's reign. 

 The flock was displayed in locations around Wells and the surrounding Somerset countryside for 3 months this summer, from June to September 2012. This eye-catching, high profile event brought thousands of visitors to the streets of England's smallest city and a smile to the faces of all who saw them. 

 The swans were sponsored by businesses, individuals and organisations and decorated by a team of talented artists and craftspeople from across the West Country and beyond, who transformed the impressive, avian canvasses into beautiful works of contemporary art.