Type=image;ImageID=3168;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Factory workers pour hot metal into the moulds;TitleClass=strong;
The cast iron sculptures form part of the new artwork trail funded by the owners of Bentley Bridge Leisure Park, due to be installed by the summer of 2014. The funders are hoping that the trail will build a stronger link between the shopping complex and Wednesfield village.
Five artworks are planned for locations between the Bentley Bridge retail park and Wednesfield's historic High Street. Four will represent local people going about their daily life in Wednesfield. The fifth will be a much larger 'Wayfinder' or signpost-like structure positioned on the Wednesfield side of the Bentley Bridge complex that directs people to key locations in the village.
The designs have been directly inspired by the knowledge and ideas of local people through extensive hands-on workshops and consultation carried out by the artists, including many local school children. Bilston Craft Gallery has worked with the Wednesfield and Fallings Park Local Neighbourhood Partnership to support a community working group to oversee the project.
Local artists Julie Edwards and Ron Thompson from Planet Art use traditional skills in metal and stone and will be creating the works from cast iron on granite plinths. The Wayfinder structure will be made in stainless steel with some contrasting highlights in brass. There are already examples of the artists' work in Wednesfield on the side of the new Sainsbury's extension - a commission they won independently and installed in June.
Julie said: "This has been a wonderful project. The community groups at Wednesfield have been a pleasure to work with and the support from local groups such as WV11 and the community support workers have really made this project. It's great to be at the stage where we are casting the work at a local foundry, Purbright Castings. The work which is currently been cast is a celebration of the people of Wednesfield, which will form an art trail from Bentley Bridge to the village."
- released: Friday 10 January, 2014