The history of the Cheshire town of Winsford, just over 20 miles from Lazerian’s studio in Manchester, has been dominated by the mining and processing of salt. A century ago the skyline of the town was dominated by chimneys, all of which have now disappeared as the industry has retreated underground once again. When Lazerian was commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council to consider a series of sculpture for the redevelopment of Winsford Town Park, the town’s defining, industrial mining past was a natural place to start the journey.
‘Seven Sisters’ is a series of eight sculptures that relate both directly with the chimneys that once loomed over the local population, erroneously nicknamed ‘Seven Sisters’ as the number exceeded the description by at least four, but also the scientific characteristics of salt.
The two chemical elements of salt, sodium and chloride, display a lattice network of octahedrons when magnified. Developing a network of octahedrons and drawing them out into chimney structures, Lazerian created a series of new, dynamic sculptures fabricated in steel rods. Finished in bright white, each emphasises the negative space within the structure so as to purvey a sense of constant movement and faith with the original, 2D outline, when viewed from any angle. A sense of organic movement reflects on the sense of change currently felt around Winsford itself.
Consultations and workshops to help decide the direction of the artwork commissions put Lazerian in touch with members of the local community. It became clear that family is everything to the people of Winsford, giving people the reason to move there and, vitally, remain there. ‘Seven Sisters’ responds to the family feeling of the town, employing the same creative methodology for each , yet varying the size and density of each. The result is three size variations with eight totally unique outcomes.
Winsford is changed from its past as a place of heavy industry, yet half of the salt spread on Britain’s roads is still produced in a small town of around 30,000 people. In uniting the past, the present and shaping the future, ‘Seven Sisters’ aims to remind people of the impact of the salt industry on their town and symbolise the family values that extend through the ages.