Designs for two new public artworks at Lydney Harbour have been released
In 2020 artists Denman+Gould were commissioned to create two public artworks for Lydney Harbour as part of the Destination Lydney Harbour project, funded by the Coastal Community Fund.
After a period of research and consultation the artists have now released their initial concept designs for the new artworks which will continue to be refined and developed before being installed later this year.
The artworks and arts/heritage based walking trail form part of the Destination Lydney Harbour project. The £2.1M investment in the harbour has already seen the repurposing of the former store and mortuary into public toilets and a visitor information hub, soon to be open to the public. Alongside these refurbished buildings will be the much anticipated new modular café building that will serve light refreshments to visitors. Also planned is the resurfacing of harbour road, the installation of a pedestrian footway and other improvements to the site, such as upgraded heritage information, and new mooring points.
The first of two pieces will be situated on the A48 roundabout at the top end of Station Road, Lydney.
Cllr Bernie O’Neill said:
“I find this project absolutely fascinating, and, as a geographer I am particularly interested in the use of the geological colours and industrial history of the area in the artwork, which will enhance and benefit the harbour and also Lydney and the Forest. This will be a fantastic opportunity for visitors to understand the value of the harbour to the locality.”
Of working on the project Denman+Gould said:
“It’s been a real honour and privilege to start work on such a fascinating project, Lydney has become a place very close to our hearts. We hope our work at the harbour will support this use for years to come and become a much loved part of this special place. A place to meet and dream.”
The concept and designs released at this stage are subject to change and refinement as further consultation takes place and permissions are sought.
Artists Denman+Gould describe their designs for the two artworks: On their approach to Lydney visitors arriving via road, or on foot from the town centre, will be met with a visually striking and aesthetically beautiful circular band of colour that orbits the entire roundabout, marking a sense of arrival and the start of their discovery of Lydney Harbour.
Its form mirrors the familiar directional road safety sign chevrons but the colours tell a different story. The palette is taken from the Victorian Geological survey chart depicting the geology of the River Severn and the Forest of Dean. The circular colourful work at the roundabout connects visitors to the walking / cycling trail, as well as the road to the harbour. As you navigate around the roundabout the colours flow and pulse in your peripheral vision.”
The second artwork will be an elegant viewing platform at Lydney Harbour, nestled into the natural landscape with tiers of seating to relax on and enjoy panoramic views of the River Severn.
The artists have been inspired by the echoes of the industrial past, in particular, the former railway turning circle that is still just visible near to the proposed harbour artwork location. The two artworks will be linked by a walking trail along the old railway line that once carried coal-laden wagons to the harbour.
Artists Denman+Gould said:
“We based the circular form of the platform on a technical drawing of the turning circle, which was used by the coal wagons to change the direction of their journey. The geometry of the circular form also holds symbolic qualities.
Our work at the harbour will be situated at the end of the walking trail creating a sense of discovery on arrival. It represents an endpoint, but also a turning point, both literally and metaphorically - a place to rest, contemplate, meet, gather and then walk back. It marks the profound change in Lydney Harbour’s use - from its industrial past to its leisure use today.
The trail links two circles, the first is the roundabout on the A48, which will also present signs and visual connectors to guide visitors to the second circle, the viewing point at the water's edge. Two circles used for changing the direction of a journey.”
Forest of Dean Communications Team
Notes to editors
The Destination Lydney Harbour bid was submitted to MHCLG’s Coastal Communities Fund and the project was awarded funding in September 2019. The project consists of a number of elements which cover the area from the A48 roundabout on Harbour Road to the docks and harbour and serve to improve connections between these areas and the town centre. They can be broadly categorised as Improvements to Access Routes and Wayfinding, Enhancements to the Landscape, Enabling Increased Use of the Canal, Docks and Harbour.
The DLH project includes the refurbishment and conversion of the Harbour Store and Mortuary buildings to provide a heritage information point and toilet facilities respectively plus the installation of a modular café unit.
The Lydney Coastal Community Team (LCCT) is a multi-partnership group with membership representing interests at the local, district and county level. It was formed in 2015 as an open forum, anyone with an interest in the docks and harbour is welcome to attend. The next meeting is to be scheduled shortly. More information can be found on the District Council’s webpage: Lydney Docks & Harbour.
Coastal Communities Fund
The Great British Coast has enormous economic potential and this government is determined to see it thrive all year round.
That’s why by 2020 the Government will have invested over £200 million in our much loved seaside areas through dedicated programmes like Coastal Communities Fund to help in generating jobs and boosting businesses.
So far, analysis has shown that this has been money well spent with every £1 invested having the potential to create an up to £8 boost to our coastal economies. To find out more visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coastal-communities-fund
Denman and Gould
Denman+Gould is an art and design studio specialising in public and community-based projects. They work across multiple disciplines, from the design and build of large-scale public art projects to film, sculpture, textiles and jewellery.