Dramatic Purbeck viewpoint gets pop up art installation

The ancient landscape at Swyre’s Head near Kingston in Dorset is temporarily getting a modern addition called The Wind Hive.

The giant sculpture, which can be seen for miles around, was conceived by local artist Eilidh Middleton who pitched the idea to the landowners, who fortunately agreed to back the project.

Eilidh Middleton at The wind hive at Swyre Head

The artist Eilidh Middleton inside The Wind Hive

Recycled plastic and reused wood

Eilidh, who lives at Church Knowle, has created a number of temporary art installations across Purbeck including Covid Cages – a series of wooden people trapped in cages – which was installed on the top of Creech Barrow Hill near Corfe Castle in June 2021.

The Wind Hive is made of recycled plastic and reused wood and will stay in place on top of Swyres’s Head on the Encombe Estate until Thursday 15th September 2022.

The Wind Hive under construction
Eilidh Middleton

Under construction – a tractor had to be used to reach the remote location

The wind hive at Swyre Head

The sculpture can be seen for miles

“Wind is amazing, carrying seed and scent”

Eilidh said:

“The concept is quite simple – it’s just to encourage people to come here and experience the wind blowing across the headland. The plastic spinners revolve in the wind and the sun sparkles off them, emphasising the way the wind blows.

“Wind is amazing, carrying seed and scent. I thought of how we blow across a hot cup of coffee to cool it down and the same happens as the wind blows across the sea, cooling it down too.”

The wind hive at Swyre Head

The spinners are made from recycled plastic bottles and food trays

The view looking towards Kimmeridge

“This location is priceless to me!”

Once the location was agreed, the next step was to create the 400 spinners from old plastic bottles and food trays.

To do this, Eilidh enlisted the help of friends and neighbours to start cutting them out, making it a real group project.

Eilidh added:

“I could have made them all myself but I was keen to get others involved and have some input so they could say they’d contributed. There’s so many people I could mention who have helped me achieve this.

“I also want to thank James and Arabella Gaggero, who own the Encombe Estate, for having such faith in me. I spoke to James in early June 2022, presented the idea, showed him a small model of what I wanted to do, and he said yes.

“This is such a beautiful spot – being allowed to use this location is priceless to me!”

The wind hive at Swyre Head

“Challenge us and make us see things differently”

Others who helped make it possible are Eilidh’s neighbours Adam and Carol, who contributed funds for the materials.

Carol said:

“I’ve known Eilidh for a while and essentially we wanted to support her as we feel she is benefiting the local community with all her installations. She has the vision and is super talented and we like how she uses the natural environment.

Adam added:

“It’s such a lovely site here – but things can be so constant and unchanging. Sometimes it’s good to do something like this to challenge us and make us see things differently.”

Further information

  • More of Eilidh Middleton’s work is on Instagram at eilidh.space
The wind hive at Swyre Head
The wind hive at Swyre Head

Friends and neighbours who helped make it happen, were invited to view the finished art installation just as the sun set on Friday 26th August 2022

Wind Hive at night
Eilidh Middleton

At night the sculpture lights up!

Windhive Poster

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