This sculpture was commissioned by Triodos Bank UK in 2021, as a leaving present for the bank’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Blom. He was a keen sailor, so this subject matter seemed appropriate as the albatross is considered a bird of good omen for sailors.
Standing approximately 60cm (2 feet) tall, the timbers used to carve the sculpture include reclaimed hornbeam, boxwood and African blackwood.
The oak used for the base came from a tree which originally grew in the village of Nether Stowey, in the Quantock Hills of Somerset. This is the village where the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived when he wrote some of his most famous works including ‘Kubla Khan‘ and ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner‘; the latter poem prominently featuring both sailors and an albatross:
’It ate the food it ne’er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!
And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariners’ hollo!’