This project came to my notice in January.
The client, Rippon Homes, is a house builder I have worked with before, so I already know that they appreciate the virtues of community focused art.
We had a chat to see if we could work together and agreed that we could.
The only givens are:
- the location - a public open space off Deerlands Road
- it has to be a freestanding interactive sculpture not made of metal or wood
otherwise I have a free reign.
I take a copy of the Site Investigation report, containing maps taken at 20 year intervals back to 1899 and the geological surveys. I like to look at the geology as what is underneath always drives what ends up on the surface.
I can see from the maps that there used to be a large estate called Wingerworth Hall, its there in 1899 but has disappeared by 1938. The village remains tiny and rural throughout. Housing development only starts to gather pace in the 1950's which is unusual for North Derbyshire as most town were driven by coal and related industries. How did it escape the fate of the surrounding area?
The next step is onto the internet to search words and images relating to the Wingerworth area.
Wingerworth Hall is easy to find, a large country house and park demolished in the 1920's for building materials, some of the interior was shipped to America, and the land sold off into small bits.
The Hunloke family lived on the estate from the 1600's through to the 1890's, so what made them give up on Wingerworth?
I make a few phone calls, starting with local councillors and a journalist. I make an appointment to see Dr David Edwards, who has lived no New Road since the 1950's with his wife Janet, I have discovered questions, does he have any answers?
I'll keep you posted.