Spiral Time

Spiral Time – Sowerby Clock is a public artwork by Chrysalis Arts, commissioned by Mulberry Homes Yorkshire for the south roundabout on Topcliffe Road, Sowerby near Thirsk. Designed by Kate Maddison, it was created in collaboration with artist-blacksmith Brian Russell, Little Newsham Forge.

Spiral Time – Sowerby Clock on the Topcliffe Road roundabout by Aldi and Premier Inn is part of the growing collection of public art at Sowerby Gateway, the mixed development near Thirsk, North Yorkshire.  The sculpture represents a fragment of time at Sowerby spiralling forward in a cyclical passage to the future, it’s form echoes the mechanism of a clock, also a local reference to Thirsk Clock. Twelve hand forged steel arms are arranged in a spiral around a central spine. They support twelve discs positioned like the numbers on a clock face when seen aligned on approach along Topcliffe Road. The disc images have been developed from the existing image resource created in community workshop sessions depicting sustainability and local heritage. The sculpture’s twelve arms and discs relate to the Community Art Waymarkers that are located along pedestrian routes throughout Sowerby Gateway.

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 artisan skills and resources of the region, to create art with local distinctiveness. Different aspects of sustainability have been expressed through five elements; Earth – Air – Fire – Water – Culture


Community Art Waymarkers to signpost pedestrian routes through Sowerby have been designed and made in a collaboration between; artist Kate Maddison, Thirsk School Pupils, Little Newshm Forge and McArt Studio. The Art Waymarkers are a unique feature of Sowerby Gateway, each displaying imagery that relates to the five elements of the sustainability theme and the community involvement process. Art Waymarkers will continue to be added to new pedestrian routes through Sowerby as the development progresses.

The art project had the support of Hambleton District Council and Arts Council England.

Project & Date: Spiral Time – Sowerby Clock, March 2019
Location: Topcliffe Road, Sowerby, North Yorkshire, YO7 3HF
Commissioned by Mulberry Homes Yorkshire
Lead artist: Kate Maddison, Chrysalis Arts Ltd, Gargrave, North Yorkshire
Manufacture by Little Newsham Forge, Nr Darlington, Co. Durham
Other Suppliers: McArt Studios Ltd, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham

Photos by Kate Maddison