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In June 2015 we won a tender, from Wrexham council, for a large grant funded project to engage local schools and community and produce some sculpture, and signage, inspired by the landscape and these engagements. The aim of the project was to enhance the “Welcome Experience” for visitors.
The sculptures needed to have a sense of place and convey the rich history of the area, including the nearby UNESCO world heritage Aquaduct.
We took financial responsibility for the project, employing sub contractors and sourcing all materials. We worked with the Park staff to provide two differing, but linked, engagement sessions for over 100 members of the community and local schools. We led a guided walk around the Country Park during which participants collected various found natural item from the park to inspire and use in the second session. We explored the wildlife of the park on our way and the answered any questions spurred by the hands on interactions with the found items.
The second session was designed to elicit a creative response and allow the creation of 3D sculpture using the found items. The items were used with clay to produce site specific sculptures. Prints, onto fabric, were also made using a Japanese technique with fresh fauna.
On completion of the sessions we collated all our inspiration points and produced a series of design in response to the engagement and the landscape. We used direct translations of some of the engagement work along with our own ideas gathered from research and our observations.
On acceptance of the designs we sourced timber from National Resource Wales and a local sawmill. We choose a Sequoia from a mid Wales forest.
The trees were earmarked for felling and replacement as they were non native and fouling power lines. They would have been waste had we not used them. The timber was delivered to the Country Park and we carved all the sculpture and signage on site while engaging with visitors to the park.
We employed sub contractors to install the finished pieces (circa 20 individual sculptures) and provided a 2 year maintenance programme. The project was a success and finished on budget. It provided both signage, sculpture and functional sculpture to improve visitor experience and site engagement.