Two stunning new public artworks commissioned by Test Valley Borough Council for the development at Augusta Park in Andover are set to be installed this month after over two years of consultations and workshops with local residents and schools.
Award-winning public artists Bernie Rutter and Denis O’Connor, of Sculpture Works, were awarded the commission in 2017 by Test Valley Borough Council to create the artworks. The artists’ brief was developed through intensive consultation which included a series of workshops, meetings and activities with local children and residents across Augusta Park.
The themes which emerged included regrowth, agriculture and nature, which were then all incorporated into the artists’ brief.
On June 18, the finished sculptures will be installed at two sites – Smannell Green and Poppy Park.
The sculptures at Smannell Green represent growth using the form of trees and an ancient Roman brooch found by archaeologists at the site. Agricultural tools have been moulded on the top in an interpretation of a tree. At the Poppy Park site, a cluster of poppy seed heads will sit in the park that has been named by the residents.
The entire £73,000 project has been funded by contributions made to the council from developers Taylor Wimpey as part of the Section 106 agreement for the Augusta Park site.
Community and Leisure portfolio holder, councillor Tony Ward, said: “The artwork marks the successful development at Augusta Park and I’m so pleased in how the community has come together to embrace this project. Everyone has offered their views and it just shows the benefits of public art.
“This has all been very carefully thought out and seeing the results is fantastic. I’m thrilled with the outcome and my sincere thanks go to Denis and Bernie for all their efforts.
“The themes that came from our public consultation with residents included growth, agriculture and nature and they have all been expertly weaved into the final product.”
Denis added: “Both Bernie and I have really relished putting these ideas in motion and working with the local community to produce something we can all be proud of.
“We have been given the freedom to collate and express the views of the public and hopefully they enjoy the sculptures as much as we do.”