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Public art installed in Shepshed

  • Shepshed public art project

Public art which has been over a year in the making has been installed in Shepshed.

Last year the borough Council commissioned Derbyshire-based firm Sculpture Works Ltd for the project at the Buttercup Fields development in Shepshed.
 
The two sculptures which stand around four metres tall are located on Buttercup Lane and Celandine Road. They are both made from stainless steel and have been inspired by natural foliage and wildflowers found local to Shepshed including buttercup and stitchwort.
 
Sculptor Denis O’Connor and Printmaker Bernie Rutter from Sculpture Works Ltd held workshops last summer to give residents and the town council a chance to find out more about the project and provide ideas and inspiration. The initial design concepts were presented to residents later in the year.
 
Matt Bradford, head of cleansing and open spaces at the Council, said: “I’m pleased we’ve been able to install this public art in Shepshed. A key part of this project was community involvement and Sculpture Works Ltd engaged with the local community to gather ideas and inspiration for their initial designs.
 
“This project has been funded by contributions from developers in this area which was specifically for a piece of public art.”

Over two consultation weekends, Bernie and Denis, ran a sculpture workshop, discussed and presented visual ideas for the sculptures with residents which contributed to the final designs for both sculptures.
 
Bernie from Sculpture Works Ltd said: “The two sculptures make reference to buttercup and celandine flowers, both which are native to the site. The forms of the sculptures are based on 18th and 19th century botanical drawings and visualise the micro and macro elements of both flowers.
 
“From large scale leaves, to delicate flower heads to seed pods, the sculptures are designed to visually enhance the Buttercup Fields development through celebrating a small part of nature.”
 
The public art cost around £75,000 and has been funded by developer William Davis Homes through a section 106 agreement specifically for public art in this area.
 
Section 106 funding is when a developer agrees to contribute funding towards improvements in the community.
 
Guy Higgins, managing director, William Davis Homes said: “It’s really pleasing when a work of public art is embraced by the community and the fact that these striking sculptures have been inspired by the natural beauty of the local area makes them very special.
 
“We’re sure they’ll be enjoyed and appreciated for many years to come.”