A ‘beautifully unique’ bronze sculpture which is being donated to the people of Belper will be officially unveiled in the town’s River Gardens at the end of March.
The result of a conversation between local sculptor, Rachel Carter, and representatives of the Derwent Valley Heritage Site, the sculpture will be on show for ther first time from Tuesday, March 25 at 10am.The piece, which was first displayed at the 100th RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2013, has been created by hand weaving with moulded wax which has been shaped using the form of natural willow branches to create a spherical sculpture. Once completed the wax sculpture is then sent to a foundry to be cast into bronze.
Ms Carter is thought to be the first artist to use the method.
She said: “The Belper River Gardens are part of the renowned Derwent Mills World Heritage Site, the birth place of the Industrial Revolution, and as such hold a special place in the history of Derbyshire. However, before that the gardens were willow beds used by the local community to weave baskets, so the location has a great significance for me and my work.Permanent sculptures are not usually allowed to be installed on World Heritage Sites so this is very unusual and a great honour for me. It is also a way for me to give something back to the community that has supported me for so long,” adds Rachel.
The sculpture has been funded by the Arts Council of England, the Manufacturing Advisory Scheme and the University of Derby, where Rachel studied for her BA (Hons) Applied Art and Design.