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About the Work

Wimpey Tree was one of the largest works I have ever made. At Chillington, an area of some beauty outside Wolverhampton, I came across a bulldozer pushing over trees. Nearby a sign announced 'Wimpey Homes for The Future'. The year was 1965 and Green was spelled with a small g.
I went to fetch Graham Stroud, a fellow student, to photograph the largest uprooted tree while I took measurements. I made a same-scale facsimile, but in inorganic materials -- plastic roots with a metal trunk. I then went to the well-known builders, Wimpeys and asked for a can of their characteristic yellow paint, which they kindly let me have. I painted the glass-fibre roots with this. When I had finished the work, I placed it in two man-made parks -- West Park, Wolverhampton, followed by the municipal car park in the centre of town. I then telephoned the Wolverhampton Express & Star but forgot to explain why I had made the work. Perhaps I didn't know. They described it as 'a peculiar piece of sculpture' I rang a local school. A party of schoolchildren came to see it. They liked it.
I thought of calling the sculpture 'the We-Intend-More-Profit-Every-Year Tree', but decided against it as Wimpey had given me free can of paint.

About Vaughan Grylls

Born 10th December 1943 in Newark, Nottinghamshire and attended art schools at Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Goldsmiths' and the Slade. He has taught at several art schools in the UK and the US.

From 1996 to 2005 he was Director of the Kent Institute of Art and Design. In 2005 he resigned to concentrate full-time on his own work after joining the Kent and the Surrey Institutes of Art and Design to make the University for the Creative Arts.

″I still use the same approach to my work: I get an idea, think of the title and then make the work. So not much has changed since 1964″

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