Sowerby Art Map

Sowerby Art Map 2017 A4

Free Art Trail Map (click above) to find and identify seventeen Art Waymarkers at Sowerby designed by Kate Maddison and made by artisan blacksmiths Little Newsham Forge and featuring bronze discs cast from ten patterns made by Thirsk School Pupils inspired by the natural elemental forces of; Fire, Earth, Air Water, Culture.

The Public Artworks at Sowerby celebrate the aspiration for a sustainable future and reflect local heritage.  Located near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 3HF, this growing collection includes: Spiral & Pergola at Aldi Public Realm Space on Topcliffe Road, the acorn sculpture ‘Cherish Life’ and the community carved ‘Sowerby Stones’ on the grassed area off Topcliffe Road near Gravel Hole Lane and seventeen Art Waymarkers that mark the pedestrian paths through the new housing estate. This is part of Hambleton District Council’s Public Art Strategy.

Spiral & Pergola

Spiral and Pergola, a new public artwork by Chrysalis Arts for Sowerby was commissioned by Aldi for the Public Realm Space on Topcliffe Road, Sowerby near Thirsk. Designed by Kate Maddison, it was created in collaboration with artisan wood specialist Ben Chester using regionally sourced oak and larch.

Spiral represents a fragment of time moving forward in its cyclical passage to the future. The eight metre long flowing sculpture is made of eighty two oak slabs laid side by side. Standing vertically at each end, they twist horizontally at the centre where a lowered section forms a platform.

Pergola has a geometric roof that rises and falls, echoing Spiral’s wave motion and is placed over a circular ground finish, aligned with Spiral. It frames the Aldi Public Realm Space, a social meeting point and marks the new Cycle and Pedestrian path like the portal effect of a group of trees, a traditional way to mark a route.

Spirals are a fundamental form in nature from the motion of our universe to the molecular shape of our DNA. The passage of time is displayed in the spiralling growth of a snail’s shell and preserved in geologic time in ammonite fossils. If you could draw in three-dimensional space and were to plot Sowerby at its location on earth with the point of a celestial pen, then it would trace spirals in an onward spiral motion.

Spiral – Light -Time. The earth rotates on its axis, creating the notion of day and night time with light and dark. The earth orbits the sun marking each year with the rise and fall of the sun’s arc in the sky and the cycle of four seasons. Light years are used for celestial measurement. Our view of the universe from earth is looking back in time. The sun’s light illuminates earth each day and is reflected on into the future, therefore we simultaneously observe the past, are in the present and make the future.

Sustainability is the theme of the artworks that are being commissioned by developers of the new mixed development at Sowerby, in accordance with Hambleton District Council’s Public Art Strategy for Sowerby Gateway. Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainability is often represented as a circular system that maintains processes of productivity indefinitely, preserving natural resources and ecological systems over time.

Artists have brought their own interpretation to the theme of Sustainability and involved the communities of Thirsk and Sowerby, and the skills and resources of the region, to create art with local distinctiveness.

Spiral Star is a sculpture at St Oswald’s Church, Sowerby. It is displayed in the church yard and was made by St Oswald’s Church Youth Group who took part in a workshop session with artist Kate Maddison using natural materials as part of the Spiral & Pergola, public art project.

Project & Date: Spiral & Pergola, Nov 2017
Location: Aldi Public Realm Space, Sowerby, North Yorkshire, YO7 3HF
Commissioned by Aldi Stores Ltd
Lead artist: Kate Maddison, Chrysalis Arts Ltd, Gargrave, North Yorkshire
Manufacture by Ben Chester Traditional Crafts Ltd, Sessay, North Yorkshire
Other Suppliers: AJ Fabrication & Repair of Dalton, Grantley Saw Mills Ltd near Ripon, MJ Wall & Sons of Ampleforth.

Photos by Kate Maddison 


Chrysalis Arts was commissioned by Leeds City Council in consultation with Little London Arts, to create a new community artwork for the Lovell Hill Park entrance to the ‘Lovells’ housing estate near the city centre. The metalwork design is by Kate Maddison and is based on ideas developed in community workshops by locally based artist Hannah Carey.

The artwork consists of six low relief panels that make up one composition based on interpretations and variations of the letters that spell LOVELLS, the local name for the estate, and a spiral motif. There is an owl character derived from the Lovells letters that animates the artwork and evokes the heraldic owl symbol for leeds.

The artwork  is located at a prominent junction to catch the eye of passersby and people walking to and from the Lovells estate. The artwork continues along the footpath to Lovell Park Towers with a series of individual letters and characters on railing posts. The community artwork was developed over a three year period, and manufactured and installed by Trapp Forge on site in June 2017.

Project & Date: Lovells Community Artwork 2014-2017
Location: Lovell Park Hill, Leeds, LS2 1DR
Commissioned by Leeds City Council
Lead artist: Kate Maddison, Chrysalis Arts
Other artists: Hannah Carey, Little London Arts
Artwork Manufacture by Trapp Forge
Photos by Kate Maddison 

Spiral & Pergola News

Spiral and Pergola, new public artworks by Chrysalis Arts for Sowerby, have been installed at the public realm space to the north end of Aldi on Topcliffe Road, Sowerby near Thirsk. An Open Day Event on Saturday 4th November celebrated the opening of this new public amenity.

Spiral represents a fragment of time moving forward in its cyclical passage to the future. The eight metre long flowing sculpture is made of about eighty oak slabs laid side by side. Standing vertically at each end, they twist horizontally at the centre where a lowered section forms a platform to rest on.

Pergola has a geometric roof that rises and falls, echoing Spiral’s wave motion and is placed over a circular ground finish, aligned with Spiral. Made of locally sourced oak and larch wood, Pergola frames the Aldi Public Realm Space, a social meeting point and marks the new Cycle and Pedestrian path like the portal effect of a group of trees, a traditional way to mark a route.

Spiral and Pergola Open Day Event was a great success; Thirsk Community Woodland Group and local families made bird, bat and insect boxes, there was a chance for the public to talk to artist Kate Maddison of Chrysalis Arts who designed the Spiral and Pergola and meet Sessay based Ben Chester whose artisan company Ben Chester Traditional Crafts Ltd hand-built the artwork from regionally sourced wood. The larch beams and green oak posts are from local estates and milled in Ampleforth, with steel nodes and post bases fabricated in Dalton. The wood will weather to natural silver grey, a similar colour to the galvanised steelwork, and will last for many years.

Lord Street Artworks

Artwork for Lord Street Gardens has been designed by artists Kate Maddison and Van Nong from Chrysalis Arts to compliment the refurbishment of Lord Street Gardens by Sefton Council. The Gardens were originally designed by Thomas Mawson, a renowned landscape architect of the arts and crafts movement and retain many of their original features. 


The Nautilus, a sea creature described as ‘a living fossil’ has inspired many artists with its spiral shell form. Kate Maddison who originally conceived the idea states “the creature portrays beauty and has required the dedicated work of a team of skilled crafts men and women to build and install it. The Nautilus optimises longevity, having remained unchanged for thousands of years which is very reassuring when concerns over the future effects of climate change dominate our consciousness”

The illuminated water sculpture of a Nautilus is made from stainless steel, granite sett paving and pebble mosaic, and is sited between the North Gardens on Lord Street. The gradient of the site adds to the dramatic effect of the sculpture that can be seen easily from Lord Street. The stainless steel Nautilus shell rises from the surrounding paving and is illuminated at night with subtle coloured LED lighting that gradually change over time. The sculpture is animated with water that flows from the Nautilus eye and fans out over the pebble mosaic tentacles.

Chrysalis Arts designed the Nautilus, Trapp Forge from Burnley built the stainless steel sculpture, Janette Ireland of Mosaicart created the pebble mosaic tentacles, Joao Carrilho from Southport laid the Nautilus shell paving in granite setts, NJO from Kendal supplied the LED lighting and Water Sculptures from Morecambe provided water expertise and installed the mechanism.


New artwork seats and benches have been created for Lord Street in hand-forged stainless steel. Scroll curves and wave forms combine with Nautilus, Sun and Mermaid themes. The individual seats and benches are specially designed for their locations.

The Nautilus Seats have an enamelled image of the Nautilus on each seat back. The Nautilus seats are located near the Illuminated Nautilus Water Sculpture in the North Gardens.

The Shrimper’s Seats have 2 enamelled historic images of Southport men and women shrimping. The Shrimper’s seats are located near the community mosaic in the North Gardens.

The Mermaid Seats each have a mermaids tail depicted on the arm rests and the seats are positioned around the newly refurbished mermaid fountain in St Georges Gardens.

The Sun Benches are curved to fit around the historic sun-dial also located in St Georges Gardens and have the image of a sun depicted on the arm rests.


The Community Mosaic is a circular paved area in the North Gardens that was designed and created with local residents who attended a series of community mosaic workshops held in Southport, working with mosaic artist Janette Ireland and Van Nong of Chrysalis Arts. The design features a series of circular images of Southport life and history that flow from a Nautilus shell on a sweeping parquet background.

Project & Date: Lord Street Artworks 2008 – 2009
Location: Lord Street, Southport, Lancashire, PO9 0AW
Commissioned by Sefton Council
Artists: Kate Maddison, Van Nong Chrysalis Arts
Manufacture & Installation by Trapp Forge, Janette Ireland, Joao Carrilho, NJO LEDs, Water Sculptures of Morcambe
Photos by Kate Maddison & Balfour Beatty

Cottingley Fairies

Cottingley Fairies are three related artworks along a footpath that depict silhouette representations of three historic Cottingley fairy photographs.
The Cottingley Fairies are a set of photographs taken by two teenage girls in the early 1900’s depicting fairies in a natural setting near Cottingley, Bradford. During an historic era of image making, when photography moved from the formality of the professional studio and the preserve of a few enthusiasts to become more widely accessible to families to take their own photos and document their lives as they wished to, using a mass produced camera. The iconic photographs were created by Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright who claimed they were real. The sensation that surrounds them was created through the press promotion of the story including the involvement of Conan Doyle and Kodak in researching and presenting the case for and against a hoax.
The romanticism and nostalgia associated with the story that has kept it alive to this day and made it the subject of this public art commission.

Lead Artist Kate Maddison worked with Bradford Council’s landscape architect, artist Van Nong and the local Community Association to develop three public art features set within the new landscape gardens of Cottingley Oval.

Community Art workshops were held involving a local youth group to create their own contemporary fairy illusions.

A garden to attract butterflies and moths was part of the landscape work to encourage environmental awareness and biodiversity.

Project Date: 2010-2011
Commissioned by Cottingley Community Association and Bradford Metropolitan District Council
Lead Artist Kate Maddison, Chrysalis Arts
Artist Van Nong, Chrysalis Arts
Manufacture by Trapp Forge and Bradley Engineering
Photos by Kate Maddison and Van Nong

Tonge Fold

Chrysalis Arts was commissioned by East Bolton Regeneration to create artworks for Tonge Fold as part of their Local Centre Improvement Programme completed in June 2005. Artists Kate Maddison, Van Nong and Helen Turner actively involved community representatives in a consultation and design process and worked collaboratively with Officers from EBR, including engineers from the Highways and Lighting Departments.

The project created two artworks; a free-standing stainless steel illuminated sculpture and artwork on an existing chapel wall. The ‘Two Rivers’ sculpture was fabricated by Richard Hill and represents the meeting of two rivers around an oak leaf and includes LED lighting with a 24 minute cycle colour change programme representing the four seasons.

The artwork on the adjacent chapel wall, fabricated by Trapp Forge and Bradley Engineering, was also themed on the oak leaf and two rivers and incorporated references to Tonge Fold’s history including local counter-pane designs and the chapel’s architectural detail.

 Project & Date: Two Rivers Sculpture and Chapel Wall Artwork 2005
Location: Tonge Fold, East Bolton
Commissioned by East Bolton Regeneration
Lead artist: Kate Maddison, Chrysalis Arts
Other artists: Van Nong, Helen Turner
Two Rivers Sculpture Manufacture by Richard Hill
Chapel Wall Artwork Manufacture by Trapp Forge and Bradley Engineering
Photos by Kate Maddison 


Sir Leonard Hutton Gates form the main entrance way to the Headingley Sports Stadium in Leeds. They are situated by Yorkshire cricket ground’s west stand, part of the extensive redevelopment of the cricket ground and sports stadium in 2001. The gates were commissioned by the Yorkshire County Cricket Club to commemorate the achievements of the renowned Yorkshire cricketer Sir Leonard Hutton and to mark the refurbishment of the grounds in celebration of the contemporary game.

The timescale for design, manufacture and installation by Chrysalis Arts was extremely tight from the outset: approached in April, Kate Maddison designed the double gates in June, they were manufactured, installed and were opened on 15th August 2001 by the Y.C.C.C. president Robin Smith, and Lady Hutton and her son Richard Hutton. The design process involved research through historic documentation of Sir Leonard Huttons cricket career, and a photographic session at a one-day international match England versus Pakistan at Headingley. There were a number of meetings with representatives from the Y.C.C.C. DLA Architects, and Ballast the main contractors responsible for the West stand redevelopment, and design approval by Y.C.C.C. The design for the gates has three essential elements; the steel framework and overall composition based on a scale plan of the Headingley grounds, cast bronze pieces of real and modelled cricket items, and cut-out steelwork of silhouette images derived from historic or contemporary photographs.

Sir Leonard Hutton Gates comprise of two pairs of gates spanning an 8.5 metre gateway. Each pair of gates is framed in steel depicting the current aerial view of the Headingley stadium. The left pair include cut-out steel images of a high point in Sir Leonard Hutton’s career as a batsman; the scoreboard at the Oval in 1938 showing Hutton’s record score of 364 at the moment he was out. The right pair of gates have a rectangular panel with an image derived from two historic photographs, the upper is the moment at which Hutton broke the record of 334 at the Oval in 1938, the lower is of the England team that regained the Ashes in 1953. The right gates also feature a portrait of Sir Leonard Hutton derived from a photograph taken in later life which gives an insight into his engaging personality. In the panel positioned at the ‘crease’ on the framed plan view on the left pair of gates, two cricket bats cast in bronze are featured, on the right pair of gates, a wicket of three stumps and two bails. Two cast bronze panels, one on each pair of gates, has a representation of the items worn by a batsman including a Y.C.C.C. Cap, glove and pad.

Both gates have the words’ SIR LEONARD HUTTON GATES’ in cut out of steel plate at the top of the gates. They also feature two drop bolts cast in bronze from a real stump and bail to secure the gates in position. They feature two triangular panels derived from contemporary photographs of the audience and supporters of a cricket match at Headingley. The curved plan form of the stadium forms an emblematic centre-piece to both pairs of gates, ridged steel bar indicate the tiered seating. A series of fourty bronze tiles, twenty on each gate, have a cast surface pattern featuring the imprinted seam of a cricket ball as it marks the crease during bowling. These tiles are placed at the position of the stairwells on the stadium to form a decorative ring, which also includes a cast bronze cricket ball on both pairs of gates.

The centre gate-post is topped by a cast bronze emblem derived from a sculpture plan of the stadium. This is an artistic link between the two sets of gates and refers to the idea of the trophy and the plate as a symbol of sporting achievement. The gates are painted black to shows the silhouette work to best advantage, white outlines the central stadium emblem and the natural colour of bronze will darken and oxidise green to highlight the cast work.

Project & Date: Sir Leonard Hutton Gates  2001
Location:  Headingley Sports Stadium, Leeds
Commissioned by Yorkshire County Cricket Club with funding from Arts Council England
Lead artist: Kate Maddison, Chrysalis Arts
Structural Engineer: Jones Kingswell of Ilkey
Manufacture by Modern Equipment and Foundry Engineering of Keighley, Ray Bradley Engineering of Gargrave, Philip Moss of Winterburn, bronze cast work by Lodge Foundry of Rochdale.

Photos by Porl Medlock