Photography: Charles Emerson via Wysing Arts Centre and National Trust for New Geographies

A thatched sculpture emerges from the wetlands of the Wicken Fen Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire designed by Studio Morison as a place for quiet contemplation.

Named Mother…, the golden straw hut is the handiwork of artists Heather and Ivan Morison. It was commissioned by the Wysing Arts Centre and National Trust for New Geographies – a project with Arts Council England that saw galleries install 10 artworks in lesser-known rural locations across East England.

Studio Morison builds a ‘spiritual’ sanctuary out of straw in Cambridgeshire
Photography: Charles Emerson via Wysing Arts Centre and National Trust for New Geographies

Studio Morison’s design is inspired by the memoir of author Richard Mabey, who sought refuge from depression within the East Anglian landscape. It’s conceived as a therapeutic refuge to reframe perspective and provide space for quiet contemplation.

The pavilion’s cylindrical form draws on the haystacks that dot the Cambridgeshire countryside, while its canonical ceiling games views of the sky through an oculus opening. The duo worked with a master thatcher to build the sensory sculpture, which comprises a wooden frame outfitted with straw walls that are sustainable, durable and have an evocative smell.

Studio Morison builds a ‘spiritual’ sanctuary out of straw in Cambridgeshire
Photography: Charles Emerson via Wysing Arts Centre and National Trust for New Geographies
Studio Morison builds a ‘spiritual’ sanctuary out of straw in Cambridgeshire
Photography: Charles Emerson via Wysing Arts Centre and National Trust for New Geographies

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