The Egg was inspired by the nesting seabirds on the shore. It was built locally, by boat-builder Paul Baker, as a cold moulded reclaimed cedar-sheathed structure approximately 6 metres long and 2.8 metres in diameter, whose aging will be tracked by the artist. Local Douglas Fir has been used for the supporting ribs and internal framing; continuing the age-old tradition of timber marine construction on the Beaulieu River.
Wendy Perring, the project architect, explains: “It was our intent to create a minimal impact live/work structure, using materials with low embodied energy sourced within a twenty mile radius, and put together by a team of local craftsmen using centuries old techniques. We want to test the minimum someone needs to live quite comfortably, and how we can minimise the impact on the environment.”
Inspired by the estuary and its ecology, Stephen Turner will develop the Egg into one of his artworks through the course of the residency. At the end of the project, the Egg will become part of a sculptural installation of the artist’s work and shown in galleries across the country.
Stephen explains his plans: “I wanted to investigate the landscape at a key moment when climate change is already creating new shorelines and habitats. Established salt marsh is being eroded by a combination of rising sea levels and falling landmass and the entire littoral environment is in a state of flux. The implications for wildlife and flora as well as people are challenging and raise awareness of a particularly 21st century sort of tension.”