8 Village Artmakers Project Pieces Unveild, Herefordshire

PUBLISHED: 22:31 08 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:09 20 February 2013



Eight public works of art have recently been unveiled in villages around Herefordshire, as part of the Village Artmarkers project, celebrating the heritage of rural life.

The Village Artmarkers project was established by Herefordshire Council's Cultural Services to generate arts activity in some of the county's smaller villages, culminating in the creation of public works of art for rural locations.
Eight parishes were selected to take part, following a county-wide invitation. Each parish chose an artist from a shortlist, who then worked alongside a heritage adviser and community members of all ages to explore local heritage through creative workshops and consultation - including several pub quizzes, aimed at involving all interestested parties. Participants suggested possible subject matter for the artwork and had a say in selecting the final designs. The choice of medium and style for the final piece remained the responsibility of the artist.
The villagers who took part had the opportunity to be involved in a high quality project within their own community, to learn new skills at workshops, to increase their knowledge about local heritage, and to gain an understanding of artists' working practices. As well as now having a beautiful artwork to enjoy, other benefits to those who took part include the setting up of a new local history group in one village, stonecarving workshops in primary schools and a focal point for community identity.
Amanda Fitzwilliams

Artist: Graeme Mitcheson
Heritage Advisor: Rebecca Roseff

Title: Bullocks
Medium: Peak Moor sandstone from Derbyshire
Dimensions: h 800mm, w 1500mm, d 1000mm
Location: Adjacent to Doctors' Surgery, Brockington Rd, Bodenham.

"Following meetings and workshops with residents of Bodenham, it became clear that the village's association with breeding cattle was very important, and it was suggested that this could be reflected in the artwork. I chose to create a huddle of bullocks, as opposed to one impressive and fearsome bull. The bullocks appear to huddle for safety in numbers. They are carved very roughly from the stone, seemingly emerging from the natural rock in some places, almost as if the bullocks themselves are changing from these small harmless animals into something larger and more imposing."
Graeme Mitcheson

Artist: Simone Cobbold
Heritage Advisors: PJ Pikes & Anna Falcini

Children's benches and bookcase
Medium: Wood, foam, fabrics, upholstery materials
Wood for both the benches and the bookcase came from Art Wood in the parish of Aylton, a 44-acre, ancient and semi-natural woodland.
Dimensions: l 1500mm, h 450mm
Location: Holy Trinity Church, Bosbury

"I decided to make something practical that could be used by members of the community on a regular basis. I had a lot of contact and input from the young people of Bosbury in particular and wanted to make something to be used by them. The final pieces are inspired by the landscape and environment surrounding the Bosbury area and the beautiful church, in which the pieces now live."
Simone Cobbold

Artist: David Jones
Heritage Advisor: Rebecca Roseff

Title: Brockhampton Bench
Medium: Carved green oak
Dimensions: h 1000mm, l 3700, w 2400
Location: At the parking spot and viewpoint over the river Wye by Capler Camp on the minor road from Fownhope

A carved oak bench in two parts. The outer piece reflects the loop in the river Wye that surrounds the parish. The inner one has a simple map of the parish on it. Seven of the upright supports are carved with images reflecting the history, flora and fauna of the parish and the eighth has stained glass and ceramics on it made by local artists. The whole is located in correct geographical orientation with the posts generally placed so that what they depict is close to where they occur.

Cradley & Storridge
Artist: Jackie Hunt
Heritage advisor: Rebecca Roseff

Title: Windows on Cradley
Medium: Stained glass panels
Traditional painting, staining, printing and sand-blasting on clear 'float' and coloured 'antique' glass and some use of 'flash' glass, with lead or zinc 'came'.

Dimensions: Window 1: 940mm x 450mm; Cradley C.E. Primary School
Windows 2, 3: 790mm x 380mm; Cradley Village Hall
Windows 4, 5, 6: 450mm x 300mm; Storridge Village Hall
Window 7: 700mm x 300mm; Cradley Surgery

Four locations were chosen to reflect the extended but linked nature of the settlement. Overarching themes are the hills, the woods and a mesh of links between places and people across the parish, portrayed through colour schemes and subject matter. Memories and traditional occupations (glove- and basket-making, charcoal-burning and farming) are represented alongside elements of modern living (computers, cars, walking the dog). The grid format of the panels is derived from the window pane patterns of older buildings in the parish. The ideas put forward by the community, and the schoolchildren's work, are used throughout the designs.

Artist: Jaqueline Cooley
Heritage Advisors: PJ Pikes & Anna Falcini

Title: A tactile, glass map of Dorstone village
Medium: Cast glass within a metal frame
Dimensions: Frame: h 1300mm, w 1093mm; small glass tiles: 150mm x 150mm; large glass panel: 787mm x 472mm
Location: Village Hall, Dorstone

During the workshop process, Jaqueline developed ideas for three possible projects. Members of the community were invited to vote for their favourite piece. The resulting work is a tactile, glass map of the village, surrounded by scenes of local life, such as stooks of corn, wild daffodils, the motte and bailey and historic buildings in the village.

Ewyas Harold
Artist: Graeme Mitcheson
Heritage Advisor: Rebecca Roseff

Title: The Obelisk
Medium: Peak Moor sandstone from Derbyshire
Dimensions: height 1.5m, base 1m sq
Location: Adjacent to St John Kemble Chapel and Doctors' Surgery, Ewyas Harold

The Obelisk reflects Ewyas Harold's heritage but also makes a statement about the modern village. Antique tools point to Ewyas Harold's agricultural links, while otters, meadow saffron and crayfish represent rare local wildlife. The texture of chain-mail refers to the large Norman castle that once towered above the village. Ewyas Harold was almost a town in medieval times, when it would have been a much bigger and busier place than it is today. This tranquil site in the centre of the village is ideal for chatting with friends or quiet meditation.

Artist: Morag Colquhoun
Heritage Advisor: Anna Falcini

Title: The things we know are more beautiful
Medium: Oak with carved text
The oak came from Childer Wood, Bosbury, a sustainably-managed woodland where all the timber is FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified and the primary timber extraction is done by horse.
Dimensions: 12 pieces, each h 2.6m x 0.18m x 0.18m
Location: in and around the village of Kinnersley

The artwork consists of twelve oak posts, each with words carved vertically down all four sides. The vertical form of the posts was inspired by the landscape of Kinnersley, particularly the flatter low-lying areas that are punctuated by strong verticals, such as trees and fences. The tops of the posts are shaped in the same form as Kinnersley church tower. The words, carved by Chris Pye of Brilley, were derived from collected knowledge, memories and residents' own feelings about life in the village, past and present.

Whitchurch & Ganarew
Artist: David Jones
Heritage Advisor: Ken Stebbing

Title: Bell Tower
Medium: Carved green oak
Dimensions: 1.400 x 2.400 x .600
Location: Whitchurch CE Primary School, Ross-on-Wye

A carved oak bell tower for the school bell, which was left homeless when the old school was demolished and the new one built. The carvings reflect local history, flora and fauna and the carving style is strongly influenced by the Hereford school of Romanesque sculpture, which flourished in the 12th century. There are two main panels, one depicting the Green Man, a reference to the surrounding Forest of Dean, and the other showing the ordeal of St. Dubricius's mother, first by drowning in the Wye and then by fire.


The Village Artmarkers project is one of the case studies for The Art of Engagement, a CD-Rom produced by Herefordshire Council's Cultural Services, which is intended to offer inspiration and a practical guide to using the arts for community consultation.

The Village Artmarkers project was led by Cultural Services at Herefordshire Council and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, West Midlands, Herefordshire Council and contributions from the eight participating parish councils.

Cultural Services, Herefordshire Council, PO Box 4, Plough Lane, Hereford, HR4 0XH
01432 261818

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