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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.

″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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