Donnington is located on the Manhood Peninsula on the South Coast of England, close to Chichester. This part of the South Coast is teeming with local flora and fauna, many of which are native only to this locality. It also boasts an impressive industrial past with the Selsey Railway and the Chichester Canal both writ large in the local history books.
The invitation was therefore to create a communal outdoor space, celebrating both this industrial heritage and the beautiful natural surrounds. A project to celebrate connectivity - of places, of people and of us with the local environment.
MORNING HAS BROKEN
In response to the brief, I felt that a carved seating area would be ideal to bring these ideas, and the community, together. A carved tableau where the unsung heroes of our gardens and hedgerows, greet us as we start each new day.
The seats, set under the steel pergola, are designed to be “family friendly”; their design accessible to young and old alike. They will welcome visitors to this new space, inviting them, initially, just to sit and spend time.
On coming closer, I hope people will discover and delight in the detail: the accessible, local motifs which are carved in the stone. Motifs for all to recognise and discuss, detail to discover over time, artwork over which to mull and think: because they are carved in stone. And stone is solid. It will stay with us and change with us, weather and age with us. But it will stay constant to us and allow us that community time for many years to come.
My thanks goes to:
- Donnington Parish Council for their trust and support in creating this piece of the project.
- Kate Viner for leading and coordinating the project; for the help, inspiration and hours of fun and laughter!
- Mehran Ghahari and Mel Howse, two enormously talented artistts - for their collaboration and professionalism.
- The enormous list of friends and neighbours in the area who gave their time and energy to make this such a great project to work on.