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A family of moorhens is moving in

Building on the successful installation of the feature footbridge across the Wilts and Berks Canal integrating work by public artist Sebastien Boyesen, we are pleased to share the first images of the next public artwork to be installed at Wichelstowe.

A nationwide advert inviting artists to submit expressions of interest was posted earlier this year, generating over 100 responses and some fantastic proposals. A shortlist of four artists were invited to visit the site to better understand where the work would be located, meet the project team and hopefully be inspired by  Wichelstowe, the canal and the surrounding countryside. The successful artist, Lucy Casson impressed the team with her portfolio of work and her proposal for a number of bronze statues which are bursting with character.

Bronze Foxes, Southampton

Lucy Casson has been making art works for public places for many years, creating sculptures and designs for hospitals, parks and streets. Most recently she was the lead artist for the new Alder Hey children's hospital in Liverpool, constructing a  suspended mobile of birds in the foyer along with bronze sculptures and surface design.

Bronze 'being' Alder Hey Hospital

Lucy said 'For the commission at Wichelstowe I wanted to create a little narrative with the birds and animals by the river and canal. I was inspired and enchanted  by the moorhens I encountered on the water side path and by the stories I was told of the illusive resident water voles'.

The image below shows the clay models which are produced during the first stage of the fabrication process.

The art pieces will be installed in the small square forming the entrance to the footway/cycleway linking the new extension of Peglars Way with Deanery Drive. This route will provide an attractive link between the main retail and community area and the District Centre car park as well as access into the nursery at the Kingfisher CE Academy Primary School and the Freeman Retirement Living development. The animal statutes will sit on the walls of the raised planters alongside the public seating.