Founding

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Client: Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Location: Dudley, United Kingdom

Artwork budget: $130,000

Project Team

Artist

Philip Bews

Artist

Diane Gorvin

Industry Resource

Chris Butler

Castle Fine Arts Foundry

Industry Resource

Senior Steel

Senior Steel Ltd

Overview

Materials – bronze, painted mild steel, stainless steel, coloured glass and plants. The theme for this 85m wide roundabout was Fires of Industry. It contains three steel Wedge/Arch structures 6m high x 25m long, a Flame Tower, steel, 20m high and a 3m high bronze figure.

Goals

Each wedge contains a profile cut design representing a local industry - glass, chain making and mining and the three tilted arch forms references the local Wren's Nest Caves. The different shades of red on each structure denote the range of red heat in tempering steel. Coloured glass ‘sparks’ are set within the cut out designs. The 16m Flame Tower on the edge of the roundabout is topped by a 4m tall ‘Flame’ in stainless steel tube. The planting was designed to work with the sculptures and emphasise the alignments. The final sculptural element is a 3m high bronze Heroic Worker we made in direct plaster and had cast into bronze at Castle Fine Art Foundry

Process

Steve Field - resident artist and public art adviser to Dudley Metropolitan Council - managed the project to shortlist sculptors for three roundabouts, and sites along the Southern Bypass. We were shortlisted for the Cinder Bank Interchange, and our proposal was selected after a public exhibition of all the maquettes - where the local community could vote for their choice of the various works. Senior Steel fabricated the steel arch/wedges based on the artists drawings, Betty Harrison - Phil's sister - cut the coloured glass elements, and Castle Fine Arts Foundry made the mould for the large worker in the sculptors' studio, to then cast into bronze at their foundry. Phil worked with the council's landscape architect on the planting scheme.