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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August, 2003, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Wood sculpture park grows again
Carving of Mother Earth
Mother earth is one of the carvings at the statue park
The growing reputation of a mid Wales wood sculpture park will be raised when more attractions are created by overseas artists.

An estimated 70,000 of the 200,000 people visiting Lake Vyrnwy last year went to view the park that boasts pieces made by British and Baltic sculptors at annual meetings over the past four years.

Tthe arrival of a group of Latvians on Wednesday has begun the latest event, which will see several more additions to the park which lies alongside the lake, some eight miles from Llanfyllin in Powys.

The project is the brainchild of Llanfyllin-based sculptors Andy Hancock and Tom Gilhesby, who were previously involved in creating a sculpture trail around the lake.

Even though the artists we have worked with have all come from the Baltic, the style of art from each country is totally different
Sculptor Andy Hancock

"The funding for that project finished in 1999 with money set aside to create an international element to the trail," said Mr Hancock.

"In that year two Russian scultors came over and helped build the wild boar entrance to the sculpture park."

Heroic statues

In the following years more artists from Russia, Lithuania and Estonia came over and this year it is the turn of five Latvian artists to create pieces from fallen wood collected from forests surrounding the lake.

"Even though the artists we have worked with have all come from the Baltic, the style of art from each country is totally different because of the difference in their culture and history," said Mr Hancock.

Lake Vyrnwy
200,000 people visit Lake Vyrnwy every year

"The great Rusian artist Galina Peserevan had worked for the Soviet government and spent her life creating heroic statues made of marble and bronze that celebrated the fight of the proletariat.

"But after perestroika, (restructuring of the former Soviet Union) she returned to making wood carvings of folk dolls, one of which, a three metre depiction of mother earth, now stands in the statue park."

The artists will work with chainsaws and a variety of handtools to make the statues over the next fortnight.

On 7 September, visitors can watch the artists at work during an open day.

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