New nature-inspired public art takes root at Wichelstowe
After months in the making, a second new striking art installation that celebrates all forms of life within the development has been installed at Wichelstowe.
The Tree of Life sculpture is 5.6m tall and 4.4m wide and is situated at the centre of the new roundabout on Mill Lane, forming a landmark gateway to Wichelstowe from the south.
The artwork by artist, sculptor and designer Sebastien Boyesen, is formed out of two different types of metal with stainless steel flora and fauna on top of a steel base. These have been laser-cut and connected with rods in varying lengths attached to the surface of the structure to create a three-dimensional effect.
The flora and fauna represent plants and animals that are indigenous to Wiltshire and, more specifically, commonly seen throughout the Wichelstowe development, such as water voles, bees, dragonflies, forget-me-nots, hawthorn and dog roses. The heron, voted on social media as Wichelstowe’s favourite wildlife, takes pride of place.
Whilst stunning in daylight, the artwork will also be a striking feature at night with internal lighting creating a glow within the tree once the sun goes down.
The main tree structure was lifted into place last week. The individual components have been produced in the workshop and Sebastien and his team will be back on-site at Wichelstowe in a few weeks time to attach the remaining individual flower and animal pieces and complete the trunk.
Sebastien has a track record of delivering meaningful installations locally having previously been tasked to design the footbridge over the Wilts and Berks Canal in the Wichelstowe District Centre. He said: “After numerous hard yet enjoyable hours in the workshop, it’s such a thrill to finally see this stunning sculpture finally take pride of place at Wichelstowe. I feel honoured to have been tasked and trusted with yet another piece of milestone artwork in the region. I hope the local community take it to their hearts, as I have.”
Emma Leake, Wichelstowe development coordinator, said the artwork is a welcome addition to the area. She added: “Wichelstowe is more than housing – it’s the creation of a brand new community and Tree of Life symbolises the putting down of roots, new beginnings and growth.
“Trees are one of the defining elements of the Wichelstowe development with hundreds of street trees already in place, as well as thousands of smaller trees planted within the wider green space areas.
“We have greatly enjoyed the process of developing Tree of Life with Sebastien and it is fantastic to see it in place on the roundabout.”
Sebastien has worked with councils, architects and developers since 1984 to create unique, site-specific artworks that are integrated into the local environment. His other artworks include The Guardian in South Wales and he is currently working on a statute of Cranogwen as part of the Monumental Welsh Women project.
Tree of Life has been funded by Wichelstowe LLP and forms part of a range of artworks within the site that celebrate Wichelstowe’s rich flora and fauna.
One of the largest local authority joint venture agreements in the country, the Wichelstowe development is being built by Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes in partnership with Swindon Borough Council and will deliver 3,000 new homes over the next 20 years along with new schools and community facilities. The 250-hectare site on the southern edge of Swindon will include extensive open spaces, nature conservation areas, playing pitches and allotments.
As part of this neighbourhood residents can enjoy 12km of new nature trails, play areas, 200 acres of open space and walks along the Wiltshire and Berkshire canal. There is also a range of schools for children of all ages within easy reach. Junction 16 of the M4 and Swindon train station are both within a ten-minute drive, providing easy access to Bristol and London.
Show homes at David Wilson Homes Orchards Rise development have recently opened.