I've been commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council to create a series of sculptures for the re-development of Winsford Town Park. After researching Winsford’s past and present I discovered its most notable for the Salt industry, still currently being mined for Rock salt.
During the 18 and 1900's the town had multiple chimneys scattered across the town, dominating the skyline of the town.
At Hamlett salt works, there were series of chimneys nicknamed 'The Seven Sisters' although at one point there were as many as 11 in total. Now the town has none, and many people don't even realise the impact the salt industry has had on the town.
Due to the extensive mining the town had suffered in the 1800's, land started to subside, and flashes were created, which are now widely used for boating. I took this as the starting point to develop a series of sculptures, looking at the molecular structure of salt (sodium chloride). I discovered that if you join the points of sodium or chloride it always makes up a lattice network of Octahedrons.
Taking this network of octahedrons I started to assemble them into chimney structures. I began deconstructing them to recreate the negative space that has been eroded from the town due to the salt industry.
The core principle I used when deconstructing the piece, was to keep the inner structure complete when looking at it from two sides. As you walk round the individual pieces, they are very organic in there appearance, also symbolising the organic growth that’s happening to the town.
Symbolising past, present and future I wanted the pieces to have a natural quality - a feeling of movement with a strong yet translucent nature to them. I drew an outline of the network of Octahedrons and was able to capture this in 2d. It was essential to try and emulate this in the sculptures. I achieved this by working with steel rod - the sculptures will naturally sit in the park yet having a presence with the bright white finish.
After speaking to local residents at various consultations and workshops I noted that family was a large importance to why people live or moved to Winsford. I wanted to reflect this family feeling of the town in these sculptures. With this in mind I decided to use the same methodology for each sculpture, but vary the size and density of each one. The result is 3 size variations with 8 totally unique outcomes.