Fluvius – the Highwood Village sculpture

Clifford Palmer’s suggested name was picked by Berkeley Homes from a shortlist which the sculptor thought needed to allude to the FORMS over the PROCESS. We have all experienced the richness of the latter, but it only supports what is now a standalone object for new visitors. As the sculptor, I’m more concerned now that IF people need a way in to looking at the stone, they have a way to do it without asking others. i.e. considering the name, looking up its meaning and trying to relate the meaning to the form. I suppose I have a duty in maximising the chance of local distinctiveness being recognised.

Fluvius, the latin word for streams, rivers and running water works well because we responded, through the stone, to being next to the River Arun. Gravitational flow from a stream (off High Wood) into and through the (medieval mill) wheel can be interpreted in the forms, ending in a flat plane at various parts of the base of the portland stone so as to imply a continuous river underlying the trees and figure. The running nature of the wheel can only ever be implied movement in a static sculpture – but the sculptor hopes that “flow” is experienced in the same way that rhythms are seen in the tree forms and that of the figure.

2019-10-23 19.03.21crop

medieval fulling mill wheel with water flow above, starting “beyond” the front of the sculpture block one third of the way up. The horizontal plane alluding to the river is seen either side, at the base of the stone


a clearer wide-angle view of the water wheel and incoming flow. The vanes are more like those of a windmill, but are created in this form to give sculptural edges which attract shadow. The feel of the river surface is accentuated by wading heron (right), a duck in the reeds (through the arch to the left) and large pike at the other end of the sculpture’s base.

Other names put forward through 2019 are all vital to the history of the stone. They all capture some element of why it is special to you. They included:

Fluvius; Hand heart fusion; Birdman; Green Man; The dreaming giant; The Living Stone; Living Stone; Highwood Stone; Wealden heritage protector; Wealden protector; Spirit of Highwood; Highwood heritage; Wealden heritage; Life Naturelle; Natural Life; Life at Peace; Unity; Memory Stone; Arun & Oak; Dwelling; (discussed day 59), Naturecall, Forest, Harvest, Arunflow.

We also had some discussion around shapeshifters à la Harry Potter, Upspringing (Day 21), the heathen imagery symbolic of new life, Dryads (the greek guardian spirit of the tree; Day 28) and Promethean imagery adding magic spark in the age of the Shelleys (Day 16).

Flick back through earlier posts to look at some of those discussions.