A Sculptural Response to Natural Flood Management. 

WillowDrop Triptych - in, side, out, 2023, Photography, 8x10'' fibre paper
© 2023 Lilli Tranborg

Taking a special interest in beavers, especially their structures and impact on the landscape, I wanted to explore my own artistic interpretation so I created the WillowDrop concept as a sculptural response to natural flood management. 

The circular willow sculpture has a gradual rise which provides two ‘dams’; a lower and a higher.

While looking for an appropriate site to implement WillowDrop, I was introduced to the Wigwell ‘Beaver Dam Analogues’ scheme by the hydrologist for the Evenlode Catchment Partnership. The Wigwell site is managed by the Wychwood Forest Trust, a conservation charity working in West Oxfordshire. This proved a perfect scheme and location, which also provided the building materials. In 2022, I built WillowDrop close to the top where the stream joined the site. A beautiful spot next to a large oak tree. The sculpture is made entirely out of the willow from the site. I left a wildlife camera by the sculpture for six months to monitor for its effects on the river and the wildlife interacting with it. The resulting film, Encounters, was shown at my Masters of Fine Art degree show in June 2023.

Encounters, 12min 30sec, still from film © 2023 Lilli Tranborg