Hot sunshine saw several new visitors; one remembered using a mallet and chisel in the dockyards, another gloried in what he could see in the ambiguities of the stone’s surface, telling me that it was something which has come with age. It was powerful stuff for me, as “my” forms link to a story which I decide “works”, however we should not prevent large sculptures like this from allowing their forms to imprint on new viewers in ways quite unforeseen. It is sufficient that a block of stone can arrest the movement of the passer-by and contain their energies in viewing for a while, perhaps returning again. But from our conversations – that band of folk who chat regularly and are helping me resolve some of the considerable problems ahead in resolving the block – there is a common underlying vision developing now that does have a foot in the natural heritage of the landscape. Just as the river valley provides that lifeblood pulsing through the new area of residences, a green lung, a corridor for countryside air, animals and plants – hopefully the sculpture will provide a cultural uplift in its final central location in Highwood Village, channelling or referencing some of those things.
We also had our youngest participant, who (at 6 months) loves Simba in the Lion King. His mum identified the Simba head high up in the corner of the block. And I met Ted, a cute and otherworldly dog who calmly surveyed proceedings while humans were deep in talk.
I’d been encouraged to go and see the view from the top of High Wood and on finishing the session, I parked in Wickhurst Lane to follow the footpath to the summit. In time, you will be able to cross the Hill and back down into Highwood Village beyond the A24 underpass, when construction is complete.
Wickhurst Lane from the junction with the footpath to High Wood, looking back to the main road between A24 Highwood junction and the garden centre
the public footpath to the summit of High Wood
you can just see the landscape of Horsham beyond the trees on the ridge
the view of the new Highwood Village construction, with the sculpture just behind the trees along the Arun in the centre. The BMX pumptrack is this side of the river
And a short film of the emergent forms so far:
Next on site: Mothers’ Day – Sunday 31st, Tuesday 2nd, Sunday 7th April