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©Alun Callender
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Laura Ellen Bacon

  • Willow sculptor
  • Matlock, United Kingdom
  • Master Artisan
Laura Ellen Bacon Willow sculptor
© Matthew Ling

Weaving willow in unexpected places

  • • Laura creates site-specific installations in woven willow
  • • Her work inspired a new symphony by Helen Grime
  • • She has also worked in stone and Corten steel

Happily for sculptor Laura Ellen Bacon, she enjoys working in the wind and rain. Her ‘workshop’ is the great outdoors, where she creates complex site-specific works in woven Somerset willow that climb up the side of buildings, arch over garden paths or disappear into streams. “Most of my work tends to be large, often big enough to walk inside, which stems from a thrill of natural, handmade spaces,” she explains. Over the last 20 years, she has built up an enthusiastic fan base for her work. Her proudest moment was sitting in the sold-out premiere for Helen Grime’s symphony, Woven Space, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican in London, since Helen was inspired to write it after discovering Laura's installation of the same name at the Duke of Devonshire's Chatsworth House. Laura is represented by Hignell Gallery in Mayfair, London, all sales and commission enquiries can be made through the gallery.

Read the full interview


  • © Michelle Tennison
  • © Dewi Tannatt Lloyd, courtesy of Ruthin Craft Centre
  • © Dewi Tannatt Lloyd, courtesy of Ruthin Craft Centre
  • © Laura Ellen Bacon
  • © Laura Ellen Bacon
Photo: © Michelle Tennison
Don’t Let Go

This handwoven installation was created at a time when an alarming decline in insect population hit the headlines. The design for the piece was inspired by the symbiotic relationship between trees and the insects that inhabit them, with the title stressing the importance of one for the life of the other.

Height 220 cm
Length 220 cm
Width 220 cm

Photo: © Dewi Tannatt Lloyd, courtesy of Ruthin Craft Centre
The Shape of First Thoughts (form in foreground)

In this artwork, Laura explores notions of growth and movement, especially those generated by natural phenomena such as sand dunes and snowdrifts. The form is made up of four separate handwoven layers stacked one onto the other, conveying a sense of accumulation and repletion.

160 cm
400 cm
180 cm

Photo: © Dewi Tannatt Lloyd, courtesy of Ruthin Craft Centre
… And then they were gone

For this handwoven wall installation, Laura found her inspiration in the swirling shapes of starling murmurations, the swooping and diving swarms of thousands of birds wheeling through the sky. The title of the piece conveys the ephemeral nature of this phenomenon.

Height 200 cm
Length 200 cm
Width 50 cm

Photo: © Laura Ellen Bacon
Spatial Place

Laura designed this indoor installation to bring a sweep of organic forms into a built interior setting. Presented at the Saatchi Gallery in London for their Collect exhibition, the sculpture was made from 12 separate handwoven sections connected as one.

2.5 m
5 m
3 m

Photo: © Laura Ellen Bacon
Split Forms

This enormous installation was created on site at the New Art Centre, Roche Court, for The Nature of Things, an exhibition curated by Sarah Griffin. While the handwoven forms have a clear impact on the exterior architecture of the house, they are also intended to affect the interior by their proximity to the windows.

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