A Sheffield sculptor is transforming axed trees into works of art to ensure the city’s tree legacy lives on.
Tree surgeon Alex Vardy-Meers, 36, revitalises trees which have been felled within the community and helps memorialise them by transforming them into sculptures.
Community members often commission him to create sculptures as a way of conserving demolished trees which have been around for hundreds of years, or as memorial pieces for family and friends who have passed away.
Mr Vardy-Meers said: “A man whose wife passed away wanted a memorial that would remind him of her so he commissioned me to carve her out of a beach tree and that’s where he put the ashes.”
He expressed the sentimental value trees can hold and how these sculptures allow people “to keep a piece of the tree forever.”
Mr Vardy-Meers grew up in Lewisham, South London where he studied Fine Art Painting, but turned to chainsaw sculpting 15-years ago.
His artwork was often inspired by “nature fighting back in a post-apocalyptic future.” which influenced his transition into tree sculpting.
The city known for its greenery is celebrating National Tree Week between the 25 November to 3 December despite the council’s £2.2b street improvement project, which set out a 25 year plan to fell thousands of Sheffield’s beloved trees.
This plan caused major public outrage forcing the council to issue an apology.
They said: “Residents should not have had to fight their Council to retain and value healthy trees, particularly not those with special significance.
“We recognise that we got so much of this wrong and we apologise unreservedly.”
The importance of preserving Sheffield’s trees has now fallen to the community.
If you want to check out more of Alex Vardy-Meers’ work go to alexvardymeers.com