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Otley artist Shane Green carves his way into Olympics legacy
As Olympic legacies go, creating 17 chainsaw sculptures of different sports in parks across London must rank pretty high.
That is the accomplishment Otley artist Shane Green, who completed the works in just 17 days during London 2012, can now look back on with pride.
The 47-year-old, who has been sculpting for 30 years, set himself the Olympic trail challenge to capture “a unique moment” for posterity.
But it has also proven to be the highlight of an extraordinary year that has included him competing at the European Chainsaw Carving Championships and, next month, seeing a 20-year retrospective exhibition go on display.
Mr Green, who is head of art at Prince Henry's Grammar School, said: “This has been the busiest year of my life creatively, without a doubt.
“For the Olympics I did 17 sculptures in 17 days and they're all sitting in London parks now with plaques on them. Doing this was a big thing for me because they will still be there long after I've gone, celebrating the moment.
“My knuckles were killing me by the end, though, and my right hand swelled up because I was carving eight hours a day.”
The Olympic theme continued when he took part, for the first time, in the carving championships at Warwickshire earlier this month and created an 8ft high triathlon piece.
He describes the experience as a “phenomenal eye-opener” that has given him a determination to hone his craft further.
First, though, he is looking forward to seeing two decades' worth of his art going on display at Sunny Bank Mills Gallery, in Farsley, over the next two months.
He said: “The retrospective will allow me to take a step back and see everything I've done. It's covering 20 years of my artwork so there will be about 200 pieces on display including etchings, prints, and carvings.”
An open preview for the exhibition, which runs until Friday, November 23, will be held, from 2pm to 5pm, on Saturday, October 13.
Meanwhile Mr Green will be back in action in Otley, carving six wildlife sculptures on Otley Chevin as part of a big revamp of Surprise View car park, during the October half-term.
More details on his work can be found at yorkshirecarver.blogspot. co.uk.