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