Stunning Living Sculpture Changes It’s Appearance With The Seasons

Mystical and magical folklore tales of King Arthur emanate from the area of Cornwall, in the Southwest of England in Cornwall. Within the mystifying Lost Gardens of Heligan a collosal project has been undertaken in the 200 acres to renew this garden that attracts nature enthusiasts and those that have deep love and appreciation of nature and of course for those looking for a place for a romantic stroll together.

A notable sculpture that has made Heligan famous and is an intimate part of The Lost Gardens Wooldland Walk, is the Mud Maid sculpture that was created by siblings, Pete and Sue Hill in 1997.

The fascinating attraction of the sculpture is that is living art, meaning that through the seasons her ‘clothing’ or ‘hairstyle’ will change. In Spring and Summer her appearance is utterly changed as that from Autumn or Winter. The subtle changes of fresh growing grass or ivy from bright greens to crackly browns gives the viewer different perspectives of the Mud Maid.

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This is the Mud Maid sculpture in The Lost Gardens of Heligan, in Cornwall

Image credits: Pete & Sue Hill

It’s a living sculpture…

Image credits: nela.fernweh

…which means that its appearance changes with the seasons, as plants grow and then wither away

Image credits: Pete & Sue Hill


Image credits: ejlilie

Image credits: _timmurray_

Image credits: Stuart Richards

The Mud Maid represents a sleeping woman

Image credits: Wulan Nephin

The Hill’s are known to emit a sense of wonder with their art, allowing the viewer to enjoy its ‘living changes’.  Another piece, called The Giant’s Head oozes almost a secret mystery to Heligan, deepening the exploration of your senses when visiting the woodland.

The process to create The Mud Maid, includes the building of a hollow frame created from wood and strong netting that had tacky mud attached to it, that was then formed into the shape. More mud, cement and sand were the used in the creation.Her head is is full of Woodsedge and Montbretia whilst ivy is her clothing. It has also been noted that she was coated yogurt to encourage growth of lichens!

These living sculptures entice thousands of people to come visit these 400 year old gardens every year.

Unfortunately, due to WW1 a vast number of the gardeners who tended this fascinating garden were called up to the front and when the war was finally over there were far fewer gardeners who returned and this resulted in the estate falling into disorder.

22 gardeners were employed before the war to tend to The Lost Gardens of Heligan when it was created by the Tremayne family way back in the 18th century

Here’s what the Mud Maid looks like in late Spring…


Image credits: Daderot

Image credits: Pete & Sue Hill

Image credits: heligangardens

…and Autumn

Image credits: joanna_eden

Here’s how the Mud Maid was built

Image credits: Pete & Sue Hill

Image credits: Pete & Sue Hill

The sculptors, brother and sister Pete and Sue Hill

Image credits: Pete & Sue Hill

Via Bored Panda

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