Artwalks

In the Theatre District Dangerous Liaisons: Philip Jackson, 1995

Bronze

In front of TFI Fridays, in Milton Keynes Theatre District.

Owned by Deutsche Asset Management.

Dangerous Liaisons is one of a series of sculptures by Philip Jackson based on the mask and inspired by the Maschera Nobile of 17th and 18th century Venice. This elegant costume hid the identity and gender of its wearer, allowing him or her to go about the city unrecognised, and enabling intrigues, vendettas and love affairs to take place without fear of discovery. Jackson describes his work as 'a sculpture about body language and the interaction between two people. It portrays two people sitting on a bench in deep conversation. One is discernibly male, the other discernibly female, although this is understood only by gesture and pose. They take no account of the viewer; their concentration is on each other. The viewer, however, must determine what secrets are flowing between them - what dangerous liaison is taking place.' Philip Jackson has undertaken many public and private commissions, including sculptural portraits of Dame Felicity Lott and Baroness Thatcher.

Paparazzi: Steven Gregory, 1996

Bronze

Sited on rooftops around the Theatre district and in front of Lloyds No 1 cafe.

Owned by Deutsche Asset Management.

Steven Gregory's menacing anthropomorphic cameras stalk around the Theatre district like a pack of vultures or crows. They seem to be on the look out for any potential victims - the rich, famous and glitterati - perhaps the stars performing at the adjacent theatre. Gregory describes them as 'hunting in a pack, but always looking after number one first. Ready to snap at just the right moment to immortalise their chosen victim'. Their different characters are defined by the cameras themselves - a collection of ancient stills cameras and a movie camera found by the artist in antique markets and second-hand shops. Born in South Africa, Gregory came to England to study sculpture and stonemasonry. He generally works in stone but has also produced a number of bronzes. His work often focuses on the more harrowing aspects of the human condition and even where humour emerges it is usually imbued with a darker, more sinister undercurrent.

Inside the Shopping Centre Circle of Light: Liliane Lijn, 1980

Kinetic sculpture, aluminium and copper wire.

Midsummer Arcade, The Shopping Centre, Milton Keynes.

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and donated to The Shopping Centre, Milton Keynes (the centre:mk).

Light, its different properties and its mythological and psychological associations has been an ongoing preoccupation in Liliane Lijn's work, as has the use of geometric forms. These concerns are reflected in Circle of Light, commissioned specifically for Midsummer Arcade. The 23 tubes create a curved, circular plane, resembling a solar disc and relating to the shape of the sun, moon and human eye. The cylindrical tubes relate to the shapes behind the retina of the eye that convert light into electrical impulses. When the sculpture was originally installed the tubes rotated so that when the piece was in motion the entire surface reflected light in a rippling motion like the surface of the sea. Unfortunately the work is not in operation at present. For further information on the artist see www.dada.it/dadart/lijn.

On Silbury Boulevard Black Horse: Elisabeth Frink

Bronze

Purchased by Milton Keynes Development Corporation, sponsored by Lloyds Bank and donated to Milton Keynes Council.

Black Horse is sited outside Lloyds Bank, echoing the logo of the bank. Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) gained recognition in the early 1950s, one of a new generation of sculptors, including Eduardo Paolozzi, who used animal and human forms to express the anguish of the post-war period. During her career she undertook many commissions for public sites across the country including bronzes of horses, birds, pigs and dogs, society portraits and church commissions. She was awarded the CBE in 1968 and the DBE in 1982.

 

Central Milton Keynes Library The Whisper: Andre Wallace, 1984

Bronze

Outside Central Milton Keynes Library.

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and donated to Milton Keynes Council.

Andre Wallace has been undertaking commissions for public sculptures since the 1970s and his work can be seen across Britain - from Salford and Newcastle to London's Docklands. The Whisper was originally commissioned by Sainburys as a resin work to be sited outside Homebase in Bromley in 1981. The Development Corporation commissioned a bronze version as a work ideally suited to its site outside the public library, a space where people meet and socialise. Wallace's distinctive heavy figures, larger than life-size, sit relaxed and at ease watching the world go by. In contrast to many public sculptures they seem to be the observers rather than the observed as one whispers gossip or comment to the other.

 

Fiction, Non-Fiction and Reference: Boyd and Evans, 1988

Acrylic on canvas

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Development Corporation, sponsored by the Arts Council of Great Britain, Midlands Arts Association and Bucks Arts Association and donated to Milton Keynes Council

This massive painting, created from twelve 2m square panels, was commissioned to hang above the issue counter at the Library and features local estates and settings as well as Milton Keynes residents. Its title refers both to the book sections of a public library, and to the content of the work, which mixes fictional and real events and draws its reference from hundreds of documentary photographs. The work includes distinctive icons of the 1980s, from the red balloons which featured in the advertising campaign for Milton Keynes, to images of the then Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher and NUM President, Arthur Scargill, a digital watch and drainpipe jeans. It also plays on art historical reference - the scene of people lazing by a lake echoing the composition of Seurat's famous painting 'The Bathers'. The work took 6 months to plan and a year to paint. For information about Boyd & Evans see details relating to Some Day (see below).

Some Day: Boyd and Evans, 1984

Acrylic on canvas

Central Milton Keynes Library

Fionnuala Boyd and Les Evans met at St Albans art college and started to work together on joint pictures in 1968. They have since exhibited regularly both in Britain and abroad. In 1982 they were invited to Milton Keynes by the Development Corporation as artists in residence, and have lived and worked in the city ever since. Working from photographs, they create complex compositions in a distinctive realist style. Some Day depicts scenes from life in the new city of Milton Keynes.

Civic Offices, Milton Keynes Council City Centre 1: Stephen Gregory, 1977

Acrylic on canvas

Ground floor foyer staircase, Civic Offices

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and donated to Milton Keynes Council

 Catwalk: Stephen Gregory, 1977 Acrylic on canvas

Ground floor foyer staircase, Civic Offices

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and donated to Milton Keynes Council

Stephen Gregory was employed by the Development Corporation as an artist in residence between 1977-79, at the time when Milton Keynes was still under construction. His works examine the building of the new town and celebrate its contemporary architecture. Using the strong vertical and horizontal lines of the buildings and scaffolding, and playing with the glass and mirrored surfaces of the new office blocks he has translated commonplace views of construction work into powerful abstract paintings.

On Silbury Boulevard Octo: Wendy Taylor, 1980

Stainless steel, water

Outside Norfolk House and Ashton House, on the corner of Silbury Boulevard and Saxon Gate.

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and sponsored by, and donated to, Norwich Union Insurance Group.

Octo was commissioned specifically for its site in Milton Keynes. Its twisting ribbon of stainless steel makes a figure of eight when viewed from one direction but changes radically as the viewer walks around the sculpture. The ribbon is based on a Mbius strip (with a double twist), a mathematical term describing a continuous surface created by twisting a long rectangular strip of stainless steel through 180 and joining the ends; the form neither has an inside nor an outside. The artist has sited the sculpture on a pool of water to emphasise its point of contact with the surface and to set up a continual play of shifting reflections as the shining sculpture reflects in the water and in the surrounding mirrored buildings. The sculpture is a memorial to Lord Llewelyn-Davis.

Public Gardens behind City Church 3B Series No 6: Bernard Scottlander, 1968-70

Painted steel

Public Gardens, Witan Gate

Purchased by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and donated to MK Council

 

 

 

2MS series No 4: Bernard Schottlander, 1968-70

Painted steel

Public Gardens, Witan Gate

Purchased by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and donated to MK Council.

3B series No 2: Bernard Schottlander, 1968-70

Painted steel

Public Gardens, Witan Gate.

Purchased by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and donated to MK Council

These large brightly coloured abstract sculptures are based on simple geometric forms. Their clean lines echo cut across the verticals and horizontals of the surrounding buildings, and their strong colours contrast with the monochrome architecture. The titles relate to Bernard Schottlander's initials (BMS) and he enjoyed the fact that MS could also be seen as an abbreviation of mild steel. The sculptures were originally sited at Wavendon Tower, but were relocated to the Public Gardens. Bernard Schottlander was born in Germany, trained in Leeds and London and lived and worked in Oxfordshire prior to his death in 1999. He worked internationally from the 1950's and was commissioned to create many public sculptures in Britain and abroad.

The Church of Christ the Cornerstone Church Cross: Alan Evans, 1991

Steel

Commissioned by the Church of Christ the Cornerstone.

Alan Evans, an artist metalsmith, was selected from a number of artists to create 'a special feature' for the dome of the Church in Milton Keynes. At that time the Church was one of the tallest buildings in the city and could be seen from far afield; the work therefore needed to be visible and readable from all directions. As an ecumenical church, the 'feature' should welcome all denominations. Evans' solution was to create a simple cross that could be viewed from 360. The cross has 8 blades, wrapped together with steel, 4 stem from the bottom of the cross and angle out, 4 from the top. The blades are set at the cardinal points of the compass - N, S, E and W, and the points between - NW, SW, NE and SE. The artist intended to reflect the ecumenical nature of the church in this arrangement - 'the coming together of different denominations, the binding together of the elements whilst still retaining their individual identity, the following of different paths towards the same end.'

Church Glass: Alexander Beleschenko, 1992

Stained glass

Commissioned by the Church of Christ the Cornerstone.

Alexander Beleschenko won a competition to design and manufacture a series of architectural glass panels for the new ecumenical church in Milton Keynes. His abstract panels encircle the dome of the building incorporating focal images of a cross and the burning bush. Beleschenko says the intention of his work is 'to uplift the spirit, to create a sense of inspiration and mystery'. Within the work is 'a series of visual 'clues' to references within the scriptures... a major symbol is water and the ceremony associated with it.' The glass was worked in an innovative way, using a combination of techniques to modify the glass surface, making it responsive to the ever-changing lighting conditions. Beleschenko has exhibited widely and has an international reputation for his commissioned work for both private and public buildings - from the British Embassy, Moscow and St John's College, Oxford to Southwark Underground Station. He lives and works in Swansea.

Altar Panels: Diane Radford and Lindsey Ball, 1992

Frosted and acid etched glass panels with gold leaf.

Commissioned by the Church of Christ the Cornerstone.

Radford and Ball were commissioned to create a work for the altar in this multi-

denominational church. Their solution was simple yet powerful, a gold circle gilded directly onto the wall, behind two panels of glass, the spacing of which suggests a cross. The medium of gold was selected as a symbol of the sun as well as for its historical associations with Renaissance altarpiece paintings. Gold was also used as a sign of purity - due to its purity it is the only metal which exists in the same quantity on earth as when the planet began. The arc of the circle suggests the curve of the universe and the world, and alludes to the church's celebration of all denominations and peoples. The work's simplicity and calm make it a source of meditation and contemplation. Diane Radford and Lindsey Ball are both glass artists. They met at the Royal College of Art and worked in partnership on joint commissions for 17 years, but now work on individual commissions.

The Shopping Centre, Milton Keynes (the centre:mk)

The Meeting: Nicolas Moreton, 1995

Birds Eye Derbyshire Fossil limestone and bronze

City Square, outside Marks and Spencer

Commissioned by Hermes for The Shopping Centre, Milton Keynes (the centre:mk).

Nicholas Moreton is a local sculptor, based in Northampton. The Meeting was specially commissioned for its site outside the Shopping Centre and Moreton chosen from a number of sculptors who submitted proposals for the site. The theme of the work evolved in response to the nature of City Square, a sociable space where people come together to meet friends and sit, talk and watch the world go by. The artist says of his work, 'The triptych represents an open ended story with a flowing river motif representing life's forces connecting all three panels. Dawn (left panel) .. depicts a woman thinking about the day ahead whilst a dove flies into the room to bring her a message; Reflection (right panel) .. a man contemplating the day's events; and The Cup (middle panel)... the man and woman sharing thoughts and wishes, symbolised by the sharing of a drink from the same cup.'

The Conversation: Nicolas Moreton, 1995

Kilkenny Black Fossil limestone and bronze

City Square, outside Marks and Spencer.

Commissioned by Hermes for The Shopping Centre, Milton Keynes (the centre:mk).

A companion piece to The Meeting, The Conversation consists of two bronze figures in conversation, raised from the ground on a plinth, away from the bustle of the people below. The plinth is their table, an intimate and private space elevated above the rest of the world. Again the tea ritual is used as the symbol of a meeting. According to the artist, the column represents an arena of expectation, and the carved river motif and gold-leafed fish act as ' the natural life forces from which we come...all fish bar one swim in one direction - the one unleafed fish representing the one that would appear to swim against the tide'.

Acorns and Leaves: Tim Ward, 2000

Stainless steel.

Oak Court, Midsummer Place Shopping Centre.

Commissioned by London and Amsterdam Developments Ltd and USS.

Tim Ward's sculpture has been specially commissioned for its location under an old oak tree in the middle of the new shopping centre. The artist's response to the site was to design a sprig of stainless steel oak leaves with acorns which seem to have fallen from the tree above, with one or two loose leaves landing beside.

The leaves vary in size and shape and sit at a slight angle just above the height of the small bushes planted in the area. The steel has been sandblasted and burnished to create highlights and coloured by heating so that the leaves and acorns are a golden straw colour and the stems and acorn cups are dark grey with brown, dark blue and purple tones.

Tim Ward is a blacksmith and sculptor with thirty years experience of making decorative metalwork for public places. His workshop is at Westbury Farm Studios, Milton Keynes.

Midsummer Place Glass: Anne Smyth, 2000

Coloured, carved and etched glass.

Southern Concourse, Midsummer Place Shopping Centre

Commissioned by London and Amsterdam Developments Ltd and USS

Anne Smyth's windows have been designed to provide warmth and interest in the southern concourse of Midsummer Place. The artist's aim has been to create 'a strong optimistic feel' with overlapping bands of vertical colour which are clearly visible from a distance. As the window is approached, more details and imagery become apparent. The colour scheme is based on colours chosen to represent summer by children from two Milton Keynes primary schools. The heat of the sun is represented by the 'hot bands of oranges, yellows and reds, spreading to more dappled overlapping areas of blues and greens'.

Anne has designed her window around Milton Keynes' distinctive geometric grid system, using photographs of the architect's original road models as her source. Woven into the grid are a range of images of historical and current activity which make Milton Keynes unique. These include Watling Street, Roman and Medieval decorative floor remains, the railway, brick and lace making. She has also incorporated patterns created within a city, such as window grids, railway lines and rows of trees.

The image for the Midsummer Place window has been produced by a combination of hand carved, etched and computer generated processes. This image has been printed in blue glass enamel over previously printed bands of enamel colour.

Anne Smyth is one of a new generation of glass artists. She etches and casts glass to create rich textures, and paints colours into the glass so that brushmarks are often evident. Since she graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1982 she has run a studio in Devon, where she has pioneered many innovative glass making techniques and undertaken a range of prestigious commissions, often designing and making glass for an architectural context.

Timepiece in Midsummer Place

This beautiful clock is 16 metres wide, weighs 4 tonnes, and is believed to be one of Britain's biggest animated feature clocks. At one end of a massive wrought iron gantry sits a large frog, at the other, a forge making golden balls of sunshine. The balls are placed onto a pendulum fixed to a wheel. Every three minutes the wheel moves along the gantry delivering the balls of energy to the frog. Every hour the clock springs into action. It palys a tune, the whole mechanism bursts into life and the frog blows bubbles out of its mouth. Well worth stopping by for a look

Sitting on History: Bill Woodrow. 1996

Bronze

Main atrium, Midsummer Place Shopping Centre

Purchased by London and Amsterdam Properties Ltd

'Sitting on History' was originally designed for an exhibition at the Tate Gallery, London in 1996. Bill Woodrow's idea was to create a sculpture that functioned as a seat and was only complete when a person sat on it. 'Sitting on History', with its ball and chain refers to the book as captor of information from which we cannot escape. History is filtered through millions of pages of writing, making the book the major vehicle for years of research and study. Woodrow proposes that although we absorb this knowledge, we appear to have great difficulty in changing our behaviour as a result.

The books from which the original maquette (model) of the sculpture was made came from a box of books given to the artist by a London bookseller, discarded as no longer saleable. To Woodrow's wry amusement, the case contained three volumes on the history of the Labour party, which he used for his maquettes. Here in Milton Keynes the sculpture is suitably sited outside a bookshop. A further version of the sculpture is installed in the British Museum.

Bill Woodrow is a highly respected sculptor who has exhibited widely in Britain ad abroad since graduating from Chelsea School of Art in 1971. His early sculptures were made from materials found in dumps, used car lots and scrap yards, which he cut, altered and placed in new relationships to create new forms, metaphors and stories. In the late 1980s he began to work in bronze but retained the storytelling aspect of his work. His sculpture 'Regardless of History' was exhibited on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square in 2000.

Vox Pop (The Family): John Clinch, 1988

Bronze

Queens Court

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and Postel, and donated to Milton Keynes Council.

John Clinch has been creating publicly sited sculptural works since the 1960s. His group of larger than life figures was specially commissioned for Queen's Square. 'Vox pop', the description of an interview with members of the public for TV or radio, is a shortened form of 'vox populi' a Latin phrase meaning the voice of the people or public opinion. Clinch's work celebrates ordinary members of the public rather than the rich and famous. His multi-racial 'family' walk a dog, cycle and push a baby buggy following a circular path, encouraging visitors to walk round them and examine the detail of the sculpture. Orginally intended to be placed on a plinth with a bronze Union Jack flying in the centre, the sculpture was altered, omitting the flag because of its nationalist associations, and lowered to bring the figures down to the level of visiting shoppers.

Dream Flight: Philomena Davis, 1989

Bronze

Queens Court

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and Hermes, and donated to Milton Keynes Council

Flying Carpet: Philomena Davis, 1989

Bronze

Queens Court

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and Hermes, and donated to Milton Keynes Council

High Flyer: Philomena Davis, 1989

Bronze

Queens Court

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and Hermes, and donated to Milton Keynes Council.

Philomena Davis' commissions for Queen's Square focus on the theme of flight. Inspired by her own daughter and a family friend, her three figures of children play and dream - two transported on flying carpets and one almost in flight herself as she throws her kite up into the air. Sited in the open air amongst the shrubs and vegetation, the sculptures are set apart from the commotion of the busy shopping centre. Although the boy engages eye contact with passing visitors, the two girls seem absorbed in their own adventures. The artist says of her work ' the Queen's Court sculptures depict man's fantasy with flight and escapism, in particular, the sorts of escapist dreams that come to us in childhood and adolescence.' Philomena Davis moved to Milton Keynes in 1980 and opened the Bronze Foundry in New Bradwell with her husband Michael. She has undertaken many commissions in Britain and abroad and was elected President of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1990.

Bollards: Tim Minett and Peter Sis, 1979

Stainless steel and bronze

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and donated to The Shopping Centre, Milton Keynes (the centre:mk)

The Czechoslovakian graphic designer Peter Sis won a competition to design an artwork for Queen's Court when he was a student in London. His drawings were then translated into three dimensional forms by the sculptor Tim Minett. 8 bollards are set into a stainless steel circle in the paving, each representing the cardinal and solar points of the solar clock. Inset in the head of each column is a bronze relief, incorporating the faces of the sun and moon.

Outside the Shopping Centre A Mighty Blow for Freedom.**** the Media: Michael Sandle, 1988

Bronze

On Midsummer Boulevard

Purchased by Commission for the New Towns (now English Partnerships)

Michael Sandle's distinctive sculpture is often satirical and political in content. In this work he is critical of the media, taking the logo of a well-known film company as his starting point. The strong-armed man hitting a gong in the logo is replaced by a helmeted androgynous figure equipped with a cudgel smashing a television set. His violent movement is emphasised by a device similar to that used by a cartoonist to describe speed. The resulting collision appears in the three dimensional 'flash'.

The artist says of this work: 'This sculpture is autobiographical - I have vivid memories of my mother thrusting a poker through our radio (a large pre-war transistor wireless-set with many silvered glass valves) to end a family argument about whether or not it was 'tuned-in' correctly. My father, who was at that time employed as a radio engineer, fixed it, and almost immediately afterwards put the same poker through it to settle a similar argument. Many years later I demolished my TV set with a sledge hammer in a fit of rage - dangerous but immensely therapeutic. It is the power to manipulate opinion and distort the truth that I hate so much about the media and in particular television advertising.the irony is that art so often functions in the same way as advertising - both can give up their meaning subliminally'. Michael Sandle has exhibited his work internationally; he lives and works in Germany and Devon.

Other Artworks in the City Centre Xscape: Diane Maclean, 2000

Polished stainless steel

At the front of Xscape, Secklow Gate

Commissioned by Capital and Regional Out of Town Ltd.

Diane Maclean's sculpture has been created in response to the Xscape building, and the architect and developer's request to produce a sculptural work that included seating. The resulting work relates to the sweeping curve of the building, to the Xscape logo, and to the wavy lines of the paving.

Maclean says of her sculpture, 'I wanted to create an artwork to which people could respond and react. The sculpture is a meeting place, a resting place, an amusement - people see their distorted reflections in it (fat or thin) - and the surroundings are reflected like abstract paintings, always changing according to where the viewer is and whether people are sitting on it or walking through it.'

A portrait artist in the 1970s, Diane Maclean extended her practice after studying Fine Art Hertfordshire College of Art, and has since exhibited her work widely in Britain and abroad. She has undertaken a wide range of public art projects since 1986, including video and light installations, and sculptural works including sound. Recent projects include a sculpture for the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, and a neon and glass sculpture for the headquarters of Accurist. Earlier this year she worked with artist Su Grierson to produce a large-scale video projection onto the faade of the Museums of Scotland.

The Presentation: Allan Sly, 2001

bronze

outside John Ormond House, Silbury Boulevard

Commissioned by Personal Group Holdings Ltd

Allan Sly's work was commissioned by Personal Assurance as a representation of a symbolic moment in the life of a working team. The company was keen to reflect the loyalty, success and sense of family within the organisation and the Director worked closely with the artist on the development of the work.

Allan Sly trained as a carver mason, and studied sculpture at the City and Guilds of London Art School and the Royal Academy of Arts. He now teaches and undertakes a wide range of commissions for public and private work. Recent projects include 'Getting back on the right foot' for St Mary's Hospital, London and 'The Spirit of Cricket' at Priory Meadow, Hastings for Boots Properties Plc.

Essence: Wendy Taylor, 1982

Bronze

Outside Milton Keynes Council offices, Saxon Court, Avebury Boulevard

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and donated to

Milton Keynes Council

Wendy Taylor has been creating sculpture for public sites since the 1960s, working for a wide range of commercial, industrial and private patrons. Essence was commissioned by the Development Corporation for this city centre site. The artist describes her response to the site, '.. this sculpture is .. surrounded by a wide selection of shrubs which give a secret air to the area, providing a complete contrast to the bold outlines of Milton Keynes' avenues. The soft enfolding lines of the sculpture are a response to the intimacy of the enclosed environment.' Essence is an entirely abstract work and reflects the artist's preoccupation with twisted, ribbon-like shapes, wound around interior voids. It was created at a time when she was fascinated with nature and natural form and may takes its reference from a specific source in nature. The work encourages the viewer to walk round it, changing shape and framing the view beyond when viewed from different angles.

The Space Between: Eilis O'Connell, 1992

Patinated bronze with fibre optic elements

Exchange Square

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Development Corporation and donated to

Milton Keynes Council

This sculpture was commissioned to celebrate 25 years of the Milton Keynes Development Corporation. The artist describes her work and its relationship to its site, 'Exchange Square is a perfectly proportioned square composed of right angles and straight lines. To contrast with this rectilinearity the sculpture is made up of curved forms. The square itself is unusual in that it is located below street level; the effect is like being in a pit-like enclosure. The sculpture counteracts this by rising high above the ground, drawing the eye up and out of the space. The juxtaposition of the curved pillars creates a sense of tension between them, with one pillar tapering upwards and the other downwards'. At night, lines of blue fibre optic lights slice through the sculpture.

Winter Garden Panels: Jeremy Turner, Mark Adams and Christine Tacq, 1989

Sycamore and watercolour

The Winter Gardens, Central Business Exchange

Commissioned by Living Well Health and Leisure

This commission evolved from a Christmas card designed by Christine Tacq for 'The Creative Company' in December 1988. Living Well saw the card, a print of the Winter Gardens, and invited the artist to make a large work to celebrate the opening of the Winter Gardens by HRH Duchess of York in January 1989. Christine Tacq collaborated with woodcarver, Jeremy Turner, assisted by joiner, Mark Adams, to create a large carved wood interpretation of her drawings to clad a 8 x 2 ft column outside Houstons Restaurant (now closed). The wood, English sycamore, was tooled to mimic the qualities of the original wood engraving and painted with watercolour. Each of the four faces of the column is based on a theme relating to places within the Winter Garden - the garden, the health club, the restaurant (now closed) and a milk bar (never built). The panels were completed in Christine's studio at Simpson County Combined School during her residency there.

Embrace: John Wragg, 1966

Stainless steel

Grafton Park

Purchased from Sainsburys by the Commission for the New Towns(English Partnerships)

John Wragg's Embrace was originally commissioned for Sainsbury's supermarket in the King's Road. However, after it had been vandalised a number of times, it was 'rescued' and re-sited in the green of Grafton Park in Milton Keynes. The sculpture is constructed of two simple arcs, each subtly different; one slender, the other more stocky. These anthropomorphic forms just touch, creating a delicate and charged connection between the two.

O Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast: Ronald Rae, 1984

Granite

Outside the Railway Station

Purchased by Commission for the New Towns (now English Partnerships)

Ronald Rae is an artist and poet who lives and works in Edinburgh. His work is wide ranging, from sculpture, drawing and mixed media pieces to sun-drawings on driftwood and dried leaves. He has been working with granite since the 1960s and O Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast, which took 10 months to carve, is one of a large number of granite sculptures exhibited in Milton Keynes from 1995-9.

He says of the work 'The title of the sculpture is a tribute to Robert Burns and one of his last poems. The subject matter of the sculpture, like the poem, is universal in its theme of sharing and expressing warmth, tenderness and love in times of trouble'. Robert Burns' poem opens:

 

'O, wert thou in the cauld blast

On yonder lea, on yonder lea,

My plaidie to the angry airt,

I'd shelter thee, I'd shelter thee.

Or did Misfortune's bitter storms

Around thee blaw, around thee blaw,

Thy bield should be my bosom,

To share it a', to share it a'.'

A Family Sport: Chris Boulton, 1996

Bronze

Outside the National Hockey Stadium

Commissioned by the National Hockey Foundation

This bronze sculpture depicts a family of four visiting the hockey stadium in their sports kit, the two children holding hockey sticks. Life-sized figurative sculptures, they mirror the families who come to the stadium and seem to mingle with the crowds entering the building. Sited at ground level rather than elevated on a plinth, the sculpture celebrates the many ordinary people who use the sports centre and promotes hockey as a sport for the whole family. Chris Boulton lives and works in Sheffield.

 

For help locating any of the art works on this art walk please use our visitor map.

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