“Where are we?”, 2020

Mid Sussex District Council Commission

I worked with FrancisKnight Public Art Consultants and artist and set designer Lionel Stanhope for this commission: to revitalise Wivelsfield Station Bridge. Realised during lockdown, I invited the participant groups – Manor Field Primary School and the Residents’ Association – to introduce me to the area through a virtual tour. I also asked them to think about a motto for their neighbourhood.

After receiving films, drawings and photographs I decided to create a work that would literally represent what the locals had shared with me. The title of the piece comes from the fact that Wivelsfield Station is actually in Worlds End not Wivelsfield. Worlds End, named by the ‘navvies’ who built the railway in the 19th century started out as a temporary transit camp and later developed into a residential area for workers at the various brickworks in nearby Burgess Hill. 

I wanted to ensure I featured the children’s own work in the final piece, so focusing on the colour and the style of their mark making – pencil, felt tips, paint – I opted for a composite of letters from their designs. Acclaimed cricketer Maurice Tate also features because members of the Residents’ Association have been trying to honour him in some tangible way in the area for some time. A 2D rendering of a blue plaque created the perfect opportunity.

Using analogue cut and paste techniques I created four designs for the abutment walls of the station bridge, and completed the final panels in dialogue with Lionel Stanhope, who then reproduced them on site.