Comments on the film,  HEAD ON

Tony Adams, former journalist/broadcaster ITV
Dr Andy Tyerman, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist.
Emma Stevens Acquired Brain Injury Community Support Worker.
Mrs Margaret Mitchell, mother of head injured policeman.

Comments on THE FOREST STATIONS
The Very Revd Nicholas Bury, Dean of Gloucester.
'an instinctive artist with extraordinary ability'

Martin Turner; "At The Sign of the Parrot"

'inspired interpretation'

The Very Revd John A R Methuen, Dean of Ripon.

'It is this universal quality of the particular'
J D Haden, M.A., B.Phil., Principal of Wymondham College,Norfolk.
'they bring a spiritual dimension into a technological context'
Lord Ullswater, Private Secretary to Princess Margaret.
'A charming momento of her visit to your stand'
The Reverend David Hayes B.D., A.K.C., M. Phil., Master of Eastbridge Hospital, Canterbury.
'The special place of wood within the ecological balance'
The Venerable Clifford Offer, B.A., F.R.S.A., Archdeacon of Norwich.

'A work of immense power and originality'

A Selection from the 6000 comments made on these sculptures.

 

Comment on Time Line
Dr Rev John Binns, University Church, Cambridge, UK, 
‘the whole exhibition is at the forefront of modern art’.

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Comments on the film,    HEAD ON

A compelling look at what it's like to be "inside" a head injury, movingly told by fifteen people who have been there. Out of these shared experiences producer, William Fairbank, himself a survivor, puts together a powerful and eloquent message for those of us on the outside.
Tony Adams, former journalist/broadcaster ITV

HEAD ON illustrates some of the complex issues faced by those living with the effects of head injury (e.g. memory, frustration, fatigue, depression). The skilful combination of interview extracts and William's commentary (supported by sketches) provides valuable insights into life after head injury. One can but admire the resilience and positive adjustments made by those interviewed. Thank you very much William and friends for sharing your experiences.
Dr Andy Tyerman, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist

HEAD ON was received very well by our support groups. The fact that the interviews on the film are grouped into specific areas of difficulty and hope means that we were able to pause and discuss each section of the video. HEAD ON was the catalyst that helped both carers and people who have had injuries to express and share their personal experiences of living with brain injury.
Emma Stevens Acquired Brain Injury Community Support Worker
Headway Hurstwood Park, Newick, East Sussex


As the mother of a young police officer severely head injured in a road traffic accident 2 ˝ yrs ago, I found the video HEAD ON extremely helpful in enabling his father and me to understand where Richard is coming from at this present time. It has helped us to understand his difficulties with the telephone, making choices, taking a long time to find the right words when speaking and needing his everyday things neatly and precisely beside him. It has helped us to understand his confusion of thoughts and feelings, his frustration and anger and the needs of his partner in the very difficult position that she is in.’
 Mrs Margaret Mitchell from March, Cambs. 

 

The Very Revd Nicholas Bury, Dean of Gloucester Cathedral, comments on the Forest Stations, which were displayed in Gloucester Cathedral during Lent 2000

William Fairbank's striking "Forest Stations" came to Gloucester Cathedral for Lent and Easter 2001.  William is an instinctive artist with an extraordinary ability to put his passionate feelings about the last hours of Jesus Christ's life on earth straight into his uniquely carved wooden stations of the cross.  At Gloucester we found that casual visitors as well as the host of people who come regularly to the building worshippers, guides, flower arrangers, clergy and many others) were all powerfully affected by William's images.  William has taken the traditional fifteen stations, and by his sensitive carving and very clever choice of beautiful woods has allowed us to see the events through his eyes and with his particular prophetic vision.  We all felt that walking his particular "via dolorosa" was a beautiful and moving experience which added so much to our Lenten programme.  Gloucester Cathedral is a stunningly beautiful building, and these carvings enhanced Christ's last hours into precious jewels set into the dramatic Norman stone of its ancient place of prayer. We remain grateful to William for sharing his inspiration with us at Gloucester.

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Martin Turner"At the sign of the Parrot" Digby Court, Digby Road, Sherbourne, Dorset. DT9 3NL

The subject matter suggested itself but your ability to visualise and crystallize the images in your mind is the essential quality which gave your concept the potential to be exceptional. Your subsequent translation through the necessary and hardly less important design considerations - layout, balance, wood choice, colour, grain - intrusion or advantage, finish, have produced/garneted and inspired interpretation that will enable viewers to see what you are acting as the catalyst for. Those that wish to see will be as moved as I am.

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The Very Revd John A R Methuen, Dean of Ripon, comments on The Forest Stations, which were displayed in Ripon Cathedral for seven weeks during 1998.

The Forest Stations are clearly expressing the great truths of the Christian Faith, encapsulating as they do the events of perhaps only a quarter of an hour or so, but pressing the depths of human experience and emotion. It is this universal quality of the particular which makes for great art and this is present both in the actual subjects depicted and in the vision of the artist. Technically, the Forest Stations are astonishing, utilising, as they do, nearly 140 different kinds of wood, and underlining the interdependence of human experience and the created order itself. The Christian Faith believes in God made human and that there is essentially something divine in human thought, activity and experience. The fact that God comes into this world gives the whole of creation eternal significance, and not just human beings. So issues surrounding the planet, ecology, the environment, global warming, and pollution are central to the Christian understanding of God and the world. They are not just good causes that appeal to certain kinds of people, they are integral to the Christian Faith. But the truly fascinating point, the fulcrum of the whole debate, is the dialectication and humanity, and it is precisely here the Forest Stations should command such respect and profound thought. It is very  important that they should be touched as well as seen, and that the titles are in many languages. There is a totality here that lies beyond even the vision of the artist and which repays repeated visits time.  As Mozart said, ''My work is not the way I see things, it's the way they are.''

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This is an extract from a letter received in December 1998 from Lord Ullswater, Private Secretary to Princess Margaret, who was Guest of Honour at a HEADWAY Luncheon. HEADWAY is a charity set up to help those who have received serious head injuries.

I know that Her Royal Highness was very pleased to be able to see some of the sculptures for herself yesterday at the HEADWAY lunch at the Royal Lancaster Hotel and to have the opportunity of discussing them with you. The book will be a charming memento of her visit to your stand.

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JD Haden, M.A., B.Phil., Principal of Wymondham College, Norfolk, comments after The Forest Stations were hung around the balcony of the New Tech block from December ’98 to February ’99.

This exhibition of William Fairbank’s Forest Stations brings a spiritual dimension into a technological context, a creation of the natural world into a space of steel and concrete, and works of imagination and sensitivity into the world of education and communication.

It has challenged us and prompted many young people, waiting to use computers for course work, or to continue on their own projects, to wonder why what happened in Jerusalem 2000 years ago should have a link to their experience of life.

To wonder why is as much a part of learning as to master a skill or to develop a design, and for that we are grateful.

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The Reverend David Hayes B.D., A.K.C., M. Phil., Master of Eastbridge Hospital, Canterbury, comments on the Forest Stations, after their exhibition during the Lambeth Conference, 1998.

-The Forest Stations break conventional stereotypes of the Stations of the Cross, breaking open their meaning in a fresh and challenging way.

-We are just beginning to realise the true impact of global deforestation. William’s imaginative and creative sculptures, using 139 different woods from all over the world bring home to us the special place of wood within the ecological balance.

-As we look at these sculptures we are conscious of pressure outside ourselves and from within, to compromise. Here Jesus is at one with those who suffer under oppressive and corrupt regimes.

-Beyond the cross is the glory and vibrant life of the risen Christ, the same Jesus, but transfigured. This unusual sequence of sculptures portrays this triumph of God which did not end on the first Easter morning.

 

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The Venerable Clifford Offer, B.A., F.R.S.A., Archdeacon of Norwich, comments on the Forest Stations, which had their first exhibition in Norwich Cathedral during Lent 1998.

The Stations of the Cross by William Fairbank are to be highly commended. As a work of art they are beautifully crafted and a real joy to behold. But they are not just beautiful objects. William has approached a very traditional subject from the point of view of the environmental crisis in the world today, a part of the message is in the wide variety of different woods he has used, and to great effect. The stations are undoubtedly a work of immense power and originality, with each station giving fresh insight on a familiar theme. But while they have much to convey which will be new they remain, as originally intended, objects for personal devotion. As such they have a real capacity to reach the heart and bring home to the worshipper the horror of what really happened. But not without hope, for there are fifteen stations and not fourteen, and we are not left in the grave, but encouraged to move on. I strongly commend the stations as works of art and a contemporary focus for our devotions.

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Rev. Dr. John Binns comments on the four month exhibition of 
The Time Line and The Forest Stations sculptures, which were displayed at The University Church, Gt St Mary's, Cambridge, UK, during 2000


These three beautifully made Time Line sculptures added to the intellectual questions and discussions provoked by the Forest Stations exhibition. The AD0BC sculpture, which hung from the organ gallery above the entrance, incorporates eastern ideas of balance into the traditional Christian image of the Crown of Thorns. Technically all William's work is of a very high standard and this fact was greatly appreciated in this university town. The inspiration for AD2000 comes from Forest Station No 13 and William develops ideas of personal responsibility for the care of the planet, highlighted by his use of different timbers from all over the world. The flat black sculpture used fibre optic lights in yet another way and as the lights changed one has a feeling of the very early moments of this planet. As with all of William's work, it is so important to him that he does not lose the attention of the viewer. While the Time Line sculptures appear more abstract than the Forest Stations, the viewer is most certainly fascinated, held and encouraged to enquire and question within and without. 
While Stations of the Cross may appear to many to be old fashioned, incorporating them with the Time Line sculptures (built for the Turner Art Prize) keeps the whole exhibition at the fore front of modern art. The exhibition was a high point of our year at Gt St Mary's and provided a focus for worship as well as attracting many visitors.