Mark Jacobs

Mark Jacobs is an artist, maker and project manager based in the High Peak in the UK. Mark studied sculpture at Sheffield Hallam University. After leaving university he pursued another love – for historic buildings – for a few years before returning full time to the world of fine art. Over the 20 years since then Mark has been working collaboratively with Sam Clayton, throughout their interweaving careers as sculptors, makers and project managers pursuing shared interests in landscape, history and human interactions with their environment.

Mark has also worked for and with many internationally renowned artists and art institutions both in the UK and abroad. Mark is the director of a small arts company that helps both artists and arts establishments design, fabricate and install sculpture. As well as frequently helping with the fabrication of work for David Nash he has also had significant involvement in the UK tour of the “Weeping Window” and “Wave” poppies sculptures first seen at Windsor Castle.

More recently Mark has been working for the Duke of Devonshire’s Chatsworth Estate helping to realise “Releve”, the final work in the Beyond Limits collaboration with the Burning Man Festival, the centre piece of Chatsworth’s burn event of 2022.

The chance to come back to Montana and create something new for Blackfoot Pathways Sculpture in the Wild and for Lincoln was extremely exciting for us. The new acreage presented new challenges as the site was more open from the Forest Service controlled burns and contained not much more than Ponderosa.

We decided we wanted to create a space within the trees to be in and to look out from - a very simple room of four walls and a door. We had used log building in our sculpture East West Passage in 2015 but wanted to use the simplest construction possible with our new work. We both loved the raw flat face presented when a spruce was uprooted by the wind and wondered whether it would be possible to make our walls from these enormous root fans.

The site we chose for the work had one tiny spruce and was near to the boundary where more were growing on the ranch property next door. We sourced our trees from the marshy ground near the creek, transported them to the site and positioned them in a square with a small entrance. In the space created the roots and the soil envelop the viewer is a sensory experience affecting sounds, smell, atmosphere and view.  

Sam Clayton and Mark Jacobs have been working collaboratively since 2004. Our work together always begins with a location - a place in which we begin our investigations into the environmental, historical, mythical, and social layers of that site, immersing ourselves in new environments through maps, walking and archive research. Our collaboration is a testing ground for ideas based on what we find, our dialogue with each other manifesting as an installation - built together, in and about that place.

Sam Clayton

Sam Clayton is a sculptor and production and project manager for the arts based in Yorkshire in the UK. Sam studied Sculpture Ba Hons at Sheffield Hallam University and Art as Environment Ma Manchester Metropolitan University. His practice is often in collaboration with fellow sculptor Mark Jacobs where they make site specific works, investigating environments through walking, maps and archive research and making installations based on what they find. They have undertaken residencies at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, Tatton Park in Cheshire and Blackfoot Pathways, Sculpture in the Wild in Lincoln Montana.

Sam is also Studio Manager for David Nash in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales and works as a freelance project manager often internationally for artists such as Andy Goldsworthy.

Current projects include an ambitious programme to commission artists (including Goldsworthy and Nash) to build sculptures that use natural flood management techniques to help prevent flooding in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.

Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild


Root Room

Materials: Spruce
Height 10ft, Length 68ft, Width 68ft