Delight as Aldingbourne’s first-ever community sculpture is unveiled
Standing 3.5 meters tall and made of bronze and galvanized steel, the structure was dubbed “Skywards Spiral” by artist Richard Janes, who was commissioned to design the piece by the parish and district council alongside arts charity Artswork.
Richards developed the design in a series of workshops with children from three local schools: Aldingbourne Primary School, Barnham Primary School and Ormiston Six Villages Academy, a secondary school. The sculpture is influenced by and incorporates elements of the students’ research into the history and unique characteristics of the parish.
It was officially unveiled by Arun District Councilor Isabel Thurston at a ceremony at Aldingbourne Community Sports Center attended by fellow councillors, students and Richard Janes himself.
Janes is a Nottingham-based sculptor and artist with an international portfolio of work. As well as exhibiting at the Tate Modern, he has brought real life sculptures and materials to schools across the country. He said working with children from the Aldingbourne area was “a real pleasure” and enjoyed incorporating their findings into his design: “I did it partly as a shepherd’s crook, for example, because the playground it was set on used to be grazed by sheep, and I have included representations of plague masks because the whole village of Aldingbourne had to move east because of the plague.The design also features local birds, animals and flowers.
Cllr Michelle Hardbord added that the parish council was “delighted” to unveil the sculpture: “We hope it will bring a sense of pride not just to everyone involved in the creation process, but to the entire parish. The artwork is located in the center of the grounds of the Aldingbourne Community Sports Center where it will provide a new focal point for all to enjoy.”
“Showcasing youth creativity at the heart of their communities empowers young people and can have a transformative impact on places,” added Beccy East, program manager for Artswork’s Arun Inspires project. “This project is a shining example of what can be achieved when quality artists, the local community, schools and the imagination of young people work together.”