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Ulster art student leaves a lot to the imagination

By Sam McBride

Published 09/12/2006

Circles and spirals were among the ornate patterns of leaves that baffled walkers in Belfast's Botanic Gardens in recent weeks.
Circles and spirals were among the ornate patterns of leaves that baffled walkers in Belfast's Botanic Gardens in recent weeks.

The mystery person who sculpted leaves into ornate shapes at one of Ulster's most popular parks last night said it was a work of art.



Walkers in Belfast's Botanic Gardens have been baffled in recent weeks to discover shapes made from autumn leaves.

Spirals, straight lines and a series of circles have dotted paths throughout the park.

Last night Nathan Crothers, from Dromara in Co Down, told the Belfast Telegraph he was behind the patterns. The art student said he was attempting something akin to cave art.

"I sculpted the leaves with my hands. I was trying to go back to the most primitive art, where people were happy to draw simple straight-lined pictures on cave walls.

"The leaves are dying, which in many ways is a reflection of ourselves. I did it at rush hour, when many people just wanted to get home."

Mr Crothers said he was surprised to find walkers taking care to step over the leaf art.

"I watched them walk over the other leaves but walk around my work," he said.

"A man told me: 'I don't want to disturb your art,' which I was really shocked by.

"I plan to continue creating this type of art around Belfast, although as the seasons change it will no longer be possible with leaves."

Mr Crothers said he had been inspired by the English environmental artist Richard Long. The Turner prize-winner's work is renowned for a fascination with walking.

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