New Ashgate Gallery champions the best of contemporary art and craft providing an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond
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Visit us to see the Farnham Sculpture, the new public art commission in Waggon Yard, celebrating the World Craft Town Farnham.
Proposals were invited in 2019 for a public sculpture that is inspired by the heritage and tradition of crafts in Farnham practised in the area during the Roman period: the district was known as a pottery centre due to its supply of gault clay, oak woodland for fuel and good communication links. Kilns dating as far as AD 100 have been found in the area. Today, Farnham hosts a remarkable number of craft institutions and makers. The sculpture aims to enhance the public knowledge and understanding of the heritage while bringing pleasure to the community and visitors alike.
In early 2020, the local community voted to choose from three shortlisted proposals. David Mayne was awarded the Craft Town Public Art Commission. David's Farnham Sculpture received 58% of the public vote.
The Farnham Sculpture celebrates the oak tree - something which was abundant in the area while also links to the history and heritage of Farnham. The Farnham Sculpture, that consists of two sculptures, the oak tree and an acorn, is fabricated from steel, bronze and oak, after the bronze acorn was first modelled in clay. Imagery refers to the oak forests that surrounded Farnham.
The project involved working with local schools and the community. There are 19 designs and messages in the Farnham Sculpture that were provided by children and schools in either Zoom sessions with David Mayne or the Draw a Sculpture competition - including two prize winning designs which are carved into the surface of the oak.
The Farnham Sculpture includes artwork by children from St Peter's C of E Primary School, South Farnham Infants School, Potters Gate C. of E. Primary School, St.Polycarp’s Catholic Primary School and William Cobbett Primary School.
Moreover, thanks to all who attended our programme of Meet the Artist talks with David Mayne in January - February 2021. Our related community events are an informal opportunity to learn more about the Farnham Sculpture and the inspiration behind it.
Create a Pinecone Bird Sculpture: Learn how to create your own mini bird sculpture with local artist, Vikki Leedham. You will make your wise Owl or Robin using foraged materials including acorns, pinecones and oak leaves. Take home an activity pack is available from the gallery and see step-by-step videos and instructions.
David Mayne is a sculptor of national repute who produces work for galleries, public spaces and the domestic environment. His artwork has been commissioned throughout the country and can be found in town centres, rural locations, public buildings and private homes and gardens. Over the past 30 years, David has developed his work from raw assemblage with found objects to the much more refined pieces he now creates
The Farnham Sculpture is a project managed by the New Ashgate Gallery as part of the World Craft Town project. It supported by Arts Council England. The related events are supported by the Farnham Town Council and South Street Trust.
We would like to thank Arts Council England, Farnham Town Council, our steering group, consisting of Charlotte Hall (Waverley Borough Council), Vikki Leedham (Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden), Sue Farrow (Farnham Public Art Trust), Sarah Carrington Hubbard (public art consultant) and Dr Outi Remes (New Ashgate Gallery).
We also thank our craft town partners, Rebecca Skeels and the local community and schools for their interest and taking actively part in the project as well as Matt Fairley for his installation work, Jamie Frost for carving and Damon Prices for the bronze casting.