Hope and Renewal Sculpture
28th June, 2017
Please support the campaign to make the ‘Hope & Renewal’ sculpture permanent.
How? Appear in a photo with the sculpture at Powderham Castle and post this pledge on Instagram / Twitter / Facebook:
I want #HopeAndRenewal in Exeter.
Hope & Renewal’: a sculpture that acknowledges the past while looking forwards in a spirit of optimism. It’s as relevant for Exeter as it is for issues in the wider world.
On Fri 28th Oct 2016, a huge fire destroyed historic buildings on Exeter Cathedral Green, including Britain's first hotel. This was a tragedy (understatement). Yet after tragedy something always emerges.
The circle of life continues
Inspired by this, Devon sculptor Morth (Martin Staniforth), took over a tonne of burnt wood, salvaged from that fire, to create an organic, emerging, edifying sculpture ‘Hope & Renewal #1’. It’s 4 metres high. Some of the timbers came from trees that grew in the 1500s. It’s been sad to use materials created by destruction. Yet it’s also been wonderful to re-use something that would have been thrown away and construct for the future.
On viewing the structure, some are reminded of a phoenix, some of a wing, others of an organic growing form, reaching for the sky. Some people find it relevant to what's going on in their personal lives, some see it echo local events, others see it reflecting issues in the world right now.
Public reaction has been overwhelmingly favourable, both at the site of the sculpture and in comments on public Facebook pages. Indeed, many people have been visibly moved by the theme (some with tears in their eyes) and are hugely grateful that a substantial tribute has been created. Lots of people want the sculpture to return permanently to Exeter.
This project also raises awareness for Exeter charities that align with the ‘Hope & Renewal’ theme: Stop Abuse For Everyone (against domestic violence) and Headway Devon (supporting those with brain injuries). Exeter City Council, Exeter Cathedral, Art Week Exeter, CoLab and Devon Community Foundation are supporting this initiative.
There is a call to create a permanent tribute:
“We need a focus to look forwards and, in my opinion, this is it”. Neil Parker
“It’s a beautiful tribute to an ancient building of importance. A more permanent feature to mark this would be fabulous.” Jo Royal
“I’m sad to see this sculpture go. It’s a sign of good public art when so many people stop to talk about it.” John Harvey
“I thought this piece was going to be here for ever. Bring it back.”
This proposal is to redesign the core of the interim sculpture, focussing on the relatively delicate burnt ‘scales’, and develop a design to be cast in bronze. The timber texture will be replicated perfectly and chemical patination techniques will create a surface appearance that echoes the colours in burnt wood.
A maquette / model has been created for a simplified structure that dramatises the movement from the horizontal to the vertical, as if the material is literally rising up, being used again and heralding a new future.
Your support will help to gather momentum for the fund-raising campaign. Please pop a post on Instagram / Twitter / Facebook.