The brief: We were approached by Mole Valley District Council to tender for sculptural handrails and entrances for the King George V Memorial Park in Leatherhead.
Funding was available though a section 106 agreement for a local supermarket development.
After winning the initial design competition detailed proposals, including maquettes, were developed and presented at a meeting of all local stakeholders, including the friends of the park and local residents.
Community involvement is a very important part of the development of any public art work and often a slightly awkward compromise. To enable the commissioner to make an informed choice of artist fairly detailed proposals are required, to maximise the relevance of the community involvement the artist needs to almost start with a blank slate. We have been involved in projects where we guided school children to a design and projects where the consultation was more of an information evening, it very much depends on the nature of the project and the priorities of the commissioner.
The final specifications for the project were agreed in consultation with the arts development officer, the planning department and the parks department and an additional run of work along a central section of the park was added to join the different sections of park together.
We took great pride in producing the work, every section of handrail was forged from round bar to create an organic, friendly feel. The floral and plant detailing wanted to look delicate while being resistant to vandalism which was achieved by forging them with great attention to detail in heavy gauge materials.
Once completed the work was sent off for zinc treatment and powder coating, the floral detailing was hand painted to complete the look. We then fitted the railings and entrances to the existing brick walls with epoxy resin and hand forged pins.