Giant Hand of Vyrnwy – Comprising of a single giant hand in an existing tree stump. Height – 50ft total including tree stump.
Example cost for a similar sculpture – £12,000
The tallest tree in Wales had been damaged by a storm and was supposed to be cut down, but a better solution was found.
Natural Resource Wales, which was in charge of the site, ordered artist Simon O’ Rourke to cut down the tree.
He came up with the concept of carving what the tree stump and trunk into a giant hand – to symbolize the tree’s last attempt to reach the sky.
Artist Simon O’Rourke brings new meaning to a “palm tree” with his massive sculpture of a hand emerging from a tree stump. Titled Giant Hand of Vyrnwy, the piece measures 50 feet tall and transforms in front of your eyes. The base of the sculpture is a standard tree; but as you gaze upward, it begins to shed its bark and eventually becomes the smooth skin of the arm and ends with the gentle creases found in the palm and fingers. This transition, between rough and smooth, has a folkloric quality—as if a giant is trying to make its way onto Earth.
To craft such an impressive piece required the right tools and a strong work ethic. “A scaffold was needed to make it safe to work on, and the terrain was such a difficult one that it took two days to erect the scaffold,” the artist recalls. “Six days of intense work followed using chainsaws and grinders. I needed to add two pieces for the thumb and little finger, as the tree wasn’t wide enough to form the whole hand.” Once complete, O’Rourke coated the sculpture in tung oil, which is a natural plant-based oil that’s safe for the environment.