Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital stone finally installed

hospital seat collage HOORAY!! This stone has taken a while to ‘realise’ from selection interview in November 2011 to installation today. We had an early start this morning as we had to avoid traffic and Hospital activity as much as possible and agreed to arrive on site at 5am to cause as little disruption as possible. This meant the crane arriving at my workshop at 4am this morning, so alarm set for 3.30am…….

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…..then we made the lift and with a bit of fiddling about getting it in exactly the right position, (and trying to get the straps out!) the job was done it a matter of minutes. It feels like the end of an era! The stone has been sat outside my workshop for over 2 years, I’ve enjoyed having it around and watching the light play on it and seeing it change in different conditions. I really hope that this piece is well used as a resting place and that people stop and touch it and enjoy it. While making this piece I was keen to create a textural piece, hopefully a therapeutic object with a grounding influence within this clinical setting with its angular architecture and hard lines. I hope that it draws people in and makes them want to touch and explore the different surfaces; the natural facets, the honed smooth areas and the claw-tooled and punched elements, as well as the carved surfaces. You will notice that on both of the smaller sides there is evidence of the quarrying of the block, you can still see that two of the drill holes are there which are how the block is split in the quarry; a series of holes are drilled in a line and then wedges called ‘plugs and feathers’ are hammered in in sequence until the block splits. I wanted to leave these in as they tell part of the story of the block. This sculpture was commissioned by The Hospital Arts Project and The Organ Donation Department (not using public money, but funded by private individuals). It was important to reflect the theme of organ donation in the words. It was difficult to find some text that seemed appropriate but then I had the idea of using wording inspired by Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’. The material is York stone (Woodkirk stone) and it weighs 3.4 tonnes. Thanks to RJ Crane hire for the lifting.

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a few close-ups follow……………….

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Angel in York stone

I’ve been carving another bas-relief anglel in Woodkirk stone. It is in quite bold relief as my client wanted it be be as statuesque as possible. Here’s a quick video and a few pictures. It was fun. It will be installed in a couple of weeks time, in Thrandeston, near Diss, but over the border into Suffolk.

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Dalton church progress

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My assistant Dan and I returned to Norfolk yesterday after spending four long days on site working on the wall. This time we worked on the lettering along the top “ALLELUIA! MAY FIGHTS OF ANGELS SING THEE TO THY REST” and also recessing the two blank panels ready for the inscription of names and dates for those whose ashes will be interred there. The next phase is going to be to create kerbing around the whole area which will mark out the plots, and make a section of paving in front of the wall. This will incorporate a trench for flowers. Hopefully the whole project will be completed next spring.ImageImageImage

Dalton update

Here are a few more pictures of  the wall, taken last week. The rubble infill is there now and I am returning next week to carve an inscription in the coping stones, which went in earlier this week. I am excited to see how it looks with these finishing touches…………ImageImageImageImage

Dalton Church progress

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I went to site today to help lift the 5 large panels into place. Harry Beverley and his team were brilliant. The walling is going to be finished soon and the coping will go on next Monday. It is exciting to see the whole project coming together now. I’ll be working on site for a few days carving lettering into the coping, and starting the left hand blank panel which will be inscribed with the names as and when there are new burials of ashes.ImageImage

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital sculpture

I have been working on a stone to go outside the entrance to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. It is being commissioned by the Hospital Arts Project, in conjunction with the Organ Donation Department of the hospital. It is being carved out of a large block of Woodkirk stone form Yorkshire.

Woodkirk stone in the yard
Woodkirk stone in the yard

Here are some images of it in the stone yard where I selected the block. The block was around 4 tonnes before work started.

I have designed the sculpture to incorporate some lettering and a seat. The wording comes from Kahlil Gibran’s book The Prophet (although we have changed it slightly) in the section concerned with GIVING. The theme was intended to parallel the act of giving of yourself physically as in organ donation, while also having a more spiritual dimension. There will also be some plants carved into the stone later on. Here are some more progress pictures.

hospital letters drawn
hospital letters drawn
hospital lettering unfinished
lettering half finished
hospital seat
the seat