Mick Petts is an Artist, Maker, Consultant, Lecturer / Academic from Wales.
‘My job is to see the full potential of a certain site or situation, to make new ideas spring to life, to re-engage people and wildlife with the land ‘. What excites me is the integration of art, science and innovation – to create landscapes which invite people to interact with them and which can change and develop over time. Inspiration behind my work can come from literally anywhere but I’m particularly interested in natural forms and patterns which occur on both on the macro and micro levels. To take the best from the past, create and celebrate in the present, and work with positive change for a sustainable future.
Marsh Harrier Hide, WWT Martin Mere, 2004
Martin Mere Bird Observatory shaped to resemble a Marsh Harrier.
“Sultan the Pit Pony” is a breathtaking 200-meter-long raised-earth sculpture in Parc Penalta, South Wales.
This sculpture, created by Wales-based artist Mick Petts, is the largest earth sculpture in United Kingdom. It has become a significant visitor destination, with paths and scenic viewpoints offering beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.
It all began in 1996, when Petts was commissioned to design a landform to shelter the events area of Parc Penallta from prevailing winds. It took 3 years and 60,000 tons of coal shale to construct this landform, which symbolizes the final release of the pit ponies used in the local mining industry.
Pit ponies were used by the local mining industry for two centuries to haul tubs of coal. The last animal-miner retired in 1999. As soon as the sculpture was completed, locals nicknamed it “Sultan” after a prize-winning pony from Penallta Pit.
Mother Earth / Mam Ddaear, 1989–1992
Designed and constructed over a three year period and utilizing waste materials, coal shale and recycled spoils drawn from across the development site. 170 metres long by 30 metres wide and 8 metres high, the concept was to create a female figure within the landscape on a scale where it was only possible to experience the whole sculpture through the personal exploration of the onlooker – building up a mental map of the body through the discovery and linking of individual features, thereby evoking a sense of human scale and relationship to the wider world. The whole figure was hydra-seeded with a specific wildflower/grass mix and mown to a defined maintenance schedule. Today Mother Earth forms part of a 40 hectare public open space at the Festival Park.
Boar Amphitheatre 2011–2012
A 250 seat outdoor performance space at Parc Cwm Darran near Bargoed, South Wales. The Boar was formed from the soil moved to create the seating terraces and relates to one of the Roman Legions which occupied this valley and hunted wild boar in the local oak woodland.
Banded Snail Lookout
The lookout provides views over the reserve and the adjoining Dyfi estuary and serves as an orientation point for the locality as well as interpreting one of the important species within the dune system. Welsh Oak 3m x 6.5m x 5m. Sand retaining crib structure. The structure is designed to accept and nurture windblown seed and should over time develop it’s own unique colony of plants.
The Banded Snail has become a favoured photo opportunity for groups and families visiting Ynyslas.