Next week we will be celebrating as the latest piece of public art is due to be unveiled at Anderton Nature Park in Cheshire.
The piece is the end result of a project in which artists Karen Allerton and Tracey Cartledge have collaborated closely with countryside ranger Dave James, members of FoAM (Friends of Anderton and Marbury) and year 6 pupils from Comberbach Primary School to develop their designs.
The commission has been jointly funded by British Waterways, Cheshire West & Chester Council, Action Weaver Valley, FoAM and INEOS Enterprises. Work began last September when the Y6 school group took part in a an observational site visit with volunteers from FoAM, well-informed on local wildlife, staff from British Waterways, Dave James and the artist team. The day’s events included a trip on the Weaver and the Anderton Boat Lift and an investigation of the nature park and its history.
The pupils recorded lots of useful facts and images that informed the ideas that they went on to develop during a series of workshops with the artists in school. The children explored monoprint, model-making, wire work, print block making, modelling with salt dough and other techniques to bring their images alive. Together with Tracey and Karen, they looked at different possibilities for applying their ideas into design options for the final piece.
The finished design consists of two carved cast stone obelisks with forged steel ‘crowning’ features that serve as an open gateway, leading visitors from the car park to the Anderton Boat Lift Museum. The work will be formally opened on Friday 21st May.