[F]or one month only, the River Eden provides the backdrop to a very special sculpture trail. Telling the story of the devastating 2015 winter floods, eight colourful felted sculptures will be installed along the banks of the Eden at Appleby.
Eden Rivers Trust commissioned local artists, Debra Esterhuizan and Karen Babayan, to work with community groups and residents in Appleby to capture their stories from the floods, all whilst learning the art of felting and creating felted sculptures.
Debra and Karen worked with community groups including: Appleby Primary School, Cub Scouts, 1st Appleby Brownies, and the Friday Club (for people with special needs) as well as hosting drop-in sessions open to everyone during June and July.
Debra and Karen commented, “Learning a creative skill such as felting allowed people to reflect on the impact of the flooding on the community and provided an outlet for the emotional and physical upheaval caused by the floods. The stories uncovered were in turn funny, sad, heart-warming and frightening. The sculptures created reflect the stories told and the displacement, both physical and emotional of items and people as a result of last winter’s floods.”
Joanne Spencer, Strategic Director, Eden Rivers Trust added: The project was set up in response to the devastating floods in Appleby as a way of providing an opportunity for people affected by the floods to come together to share their experiences and to support the overall recovery of the town. The project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is part of part of a wider programme of work Eden Rivers Trust has undertaken in partnership with the community to help clean up, repair and restore the river in Appleby.
You can walk the sculpture trail until 18th September.
Download a copy of the trail leaflet/map from www.edenriverstrust.org.uk/appleby-flood-project or pick up a copy from Appleby Tourist Information Centre & selected shops.
Read more about the project and the residents’ flooding stories at: http://www.edenriverstrust.org.uk/appleby-flood-project