The newly commissioned artworks for the development at Broadbridge Heath (Wickhurst Green) for Countryside Properties, uses the crossing of the river Arun, the passing through physical and metaphorical thresholds as the starting point for two artists. Having appointed Will Nash and Tim Ward last year, with this brief, it’s time to reveal part one of the designs that Nash has been working on.
Using the weighty tome of the archaeology report arising from site, Nash has taken the patterns of post-holes and evidence of early habitation and woven together a programme of workshops with the help of Maia Eden. Maia is sculptor of willow and tissue paper and led students at Shelley Primary School through the process of creating Mesolithic creatures.
Nash has worked using the local sandstone, and ideas about layers of habitation, hidden histories. The final proposal is for an installation currently called ‘Tipped Circles’ and series of stones creating ribbons alongside footpaths through the site.
‘Tipped Circles’ references the circular form of early dwellings and is intended to be a sculptural landscape form to be situated in one of the smaller open spaces. Formed to look as if its always been there, and as a play feature, linking the pre-history with the new development.
A series of stones, one of the local sandstone and one from the stone recycled from Christ’s Hospital, will be placed to form short trails along the footpaths and at pedestrian junctions. The sandstone series will have polished top surfaces, with sides left rough revealing the sedimentary layers and ripples.
Paw prints and animal images will be etched into the tops to be weathered, like the blurred edges of a memory, half-glimpsed remnants of long-extinct animals.
The laser-cut designs for the stone from Christ’s Hospital use repeated images of animals used as food sources, such as geese and deer, and that are present around the site today. The repeated imagery creating lace like patterns held within the circle. The stone is a hard granite that will hold the crisp image as a counterpoint to the weathering images cut in the softer sandstone. All the stones will be ‘perch’ height, to stop and rest upon, or for kids (of all ages) to jump across, bridging the gap.
The designs were well received by the AGM of the Broadbridge Heath Parish Council and will be shortly submitted for planning permission.
Nash currently has a solo show ‘Element’ at William Bennington Gallery, showing until 30th June 2016.