Northfield Arts and Crafts: Ken Elliott


metal sculpture

3.5m tall x 2.5m wide



The sculpture is an exploration of a series of curved lines and how they can form another representation of the natural world: starting as ink on paper, progressing and transforming into a three-dimensional shape, using only metal strips.

A key theme is the twisting, extending, spiral shape of the helix, growing up, expanding, and reaching skyward, tipped with leaves breathing in energy from the sun and renewing the air.

Made from aluminium with stainless steel fastenings, the highly polished metal surface is shaped to reflect the sky and, as the sun emerges, show an array of dazzling highlights.

A universal emblem of natural life, the image of a tree is all the more meaningful during this period of lockdown, speaking of both resilience and growth. Walks in small pockets of countryside have been a cherished escape from confinement, senses sharpened further by quieter urban surroundings and the time to appreciate nature.

You can visit Tree at its permanent home in the gardens of the Stirling Smith Muesuem.

360 degree image project

As a Scene Stirling digital commission project the sculpture has been prepared, recorded and is presented below as a series of interactive 360 spin animated images. The process of building and assembling the equipment to enable this is also shown.

This part of the project was funded by Creative Scotland and Stirling Council with support from a partnership of cultural organisations across Stirling.

final spin images

Click on the images to load the 360 spin animations. Once they are loaded you can drag with your mouse to control the view.

click to spin click to spin
sunny-day-spin-logo clearsky-spin-logo
1: sunny day 2: clear sky
cloudysky-spin-logo night-spin-logo
3: cloudy sky 4: night time
click to spin click to spin

some close up views of the structure 




process insight, some prototype spin images

Click on the images to load the 360 spin animations. Once they are loaded you can drag with your mouse to control the view.

click to spin click to spin click to spin
workshop-spin-logo firstoutisde-spin-logo finalspot-spin-logo
1: in the workshop 2: first try outside 3: in the final spot

process insight, set up and placing of the sculpture


1: close up of the branches


2: parts ready for the outdoor assembly


3: ready for the test spins


4: close in view of the base


5: ready to capture a spin


6:  finally resting for a while in the garden

process insight, sculpture build 


1: parts ready for the indoor assembly


2: trunk build and branches and leaves at the ready


3: branches and leaves fitted


4: built and ready for the outside world

to see the full build, watch the YouTube video below


process insight, building the spin turntable

The spin turntable is the key component as its rotation enables a timed capture of the seventy or so individual images, that once processed in software, make up an interactive 360 degree image.

The turntable consists of a collection of parts that were gathered from the workshop store and incorporated together, along with some new electronic components that control the speed of rotation.

The driving force comes from an old 12 volt battery powered capstan salvaged at a boat jumble. This turns a rubber tyred wheel that makes contact with a heavy steel disk, upon which a wooden top plate and the subect are placed. All the parts are assemled onto a heavy wooden base made from garden decking offcuts.


1: spin table parts ready for assembly


2: electronic speed controller assembly


3: assembled and ready for a test run



other links and information


Scene Stirling



to see other work from Ken visit