Willow Man
Willow Man is a large outdoor sculpture by Serena de la Hey, situated in a field by junction 23 of the M5 motorway near Bridgwater in Somerset, South West England. It stands 40 feet (12 m), made of willow withies on a steel frame. Willow Man was commissioned by South West Arts, for the Year of the Artist 2000, and was unveiled in September 2000. It marks the millennium and celebrates the role of willow in the ecology and craft tradition of the Somerset Levels. The first sculpture was burnt down in an arson attack on 8 May 2001. The Willow Man was rebuilt by the same artist in October 2001. As a precaution against further attacks, a moat was excavated around the sculpture. A notable landmark, the sculpture is also popularly known as "Withy Man", or "Angel of the South" in reference to Antony Gormley's sculpture Angel of the North (although the name Angel of the South is now in more common usage as the official title for a colossal sculpture in Ebbsfleet). On 4 September 2006, it was decided that the Willow man was going to get a "£20,000 hair cut". Maintenance took place in that month. The original artist, Serena de la Hey said at the time she thought that many local birds have been using the material for their nests. When the artist saw her sculpture she was 'shocked to see the wear and tear'.