When asked about his famous sculpture of David, Michelangelo reputedly said (he probably didn’t), “just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David”. Here tree sculptor Alan Dickinson demonstrates the principle as he carves out a stork from a tree he fells, to win 1st prize at the Yorkshire Show 1983. Leeds amateur filmmaker Roy Vickers, in collaboration with others, wonderfully brings this art to life with original verse and music that evokes a pagan sensibility.
Roy Vickers, on his own and as a member of Leeds Movie Makers, made a number of excellent documentary films during the 1970s and ‘80s. A few years before he made a film called Plant Magic, also in collaboration with Keith Overend, which has a similar theme of transformative power of nature. This was set in Chevin Forest Park, in the Wharfe Valley, which may be where Roy filmed Alan Dickinson cutting down his tree. Nothing else is known of the others involved in making the film, or of what later happened in the life of the sculptor Alan Dickinson.
Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.