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14ft sculpture unveiled

An iconic piece of community art is to be unveiled on Friday 10th September, to mark the creation of a new community in 20 acres of woodland on the outskirts of Norwich.

Sculpture in new Abel Homes development

Abel Homes installation

Norfolk-based house builder Abel Homes has commissioned the 14-foot tall copper and stainless steel sculpture, which evokes the head of a dandelion, from local artist Maxine Turner, to form the centrepiece of a new community of 22 highly-sustainable homes it has built in Drayton, which it has dubbed ‘hus22’.

The sculpture has been commissioned from Shropham-based artist Maxine Turner by the house builder, which has a policy of commissioning community art from local artists on each of the sites where it builds new homes.

The artwork will be installed amongst the 22 timber-framed homes, which have been designed by architects Conran & Partners, and which feature a variety of environmentally-friendly features such as high levels of insulation, solar panels, air source heat pumps and triple-glazed windows.

The unveiling of the sculpture coincides with the release for sale of the last four houses on the site; all of the rest are already sold.

The 14-foot tall sculpture, which has a six-foot diameter ‘seed head’ on an eight-foot stem, has been created by Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) graduate Turner to highlight the re-growth and regeneration of the site, which is being carried out in a way which is sympathetic to the natural environment, and includes ten acres of managed public woodland.

“The copper plates which form the 67 ‘leaves’ of the seed-head will gradually change to a natural verdigris, changing and blending in just as the new homes will do over time,” said Ms Turner. “The shape of the copper pieces and the spaces between them will give the illusion of movement, like leaves in the surrounding trees – although these ‘leaves’ won’t fall off in autumn, so giving an element of permanence.”

Abel Homes Director Maggie Abel commented, “We were seeking an iconic piece of art for this flagship site to reflect the environmentally-conscious nature of what we are doing here.

“We approached Chris Summerville, senior lecturer in sculpture at NUA and asked him to inspire his students to come up with ideas – and Maxine’s stood out as meeting our objectives. It is a bold reflection of the natural beauty of the site, and we are very excited about the commission.”

NUA Vice-Chancellor John Last added: “We are always delighted to assist local business projects in working with our tremendous pool of student and graduate talent. NUA provides a creative and challenging environment which has consistently turned out artists that are innovative in their thinking and creativity and prove ideal for developing exciting new corporate art projects.”

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