A sculpture in Pulborough was officially completed last weekend after 15 months worth of work.
Trisantonis -the trespasser-, located at the RSPB centre in Pulborough, was chiselled and hammered into shape for the last time on Saturday as artist Jon Edgar put down his tools after more than a years worth of hard graft.
The sculptor, from Fittleworth, battled all weather conditions to create the masterpiece at the centre and said he was very happy with the finished piece.
“I officially put down my tools on Saturday but I have been slowly slowing down,” he said. “It is a very slow art and I would generally go up there for four hour sessions.
“I really enjoyed it and it has been a fantastic experience.”
Jon has described female in the piece as a ‘river goddess’ and said the artwork has connotations relating to how the people in Sussex felt when they were being conquered by the Romans Empire.
Jon said: “Think of the feeling in the Arun Valley as native Britons were displaced by the Roman Empire bringing their rule to Sussex. Pulborough was an important crossing point of the Middle-Stream and rich Roman remains still lie under our surrounding parishes. The female form was identified by one visitor as a ‘mother earth’ like figure sitting within her landscape. To me, she’s a river goddess surrounded by her coterie of fauna, steadfast in the midst of a rapidly changing world.”
But the project was not just about Jon creating a piece of artwork. It also became a community project with families and visitors to the centre getting involved and helping with the creation process.
“It was a bit of an experiment,” Jon said. “I wanted to let people walking by see and become part of the experience. Some families were coming and getting involved and some have come down six or seven times. If children wanted to have a go with the tools then they could come and put on some protective equipment and have a go. I have found that working with people around me helps get me through some of the times when the weather is bad.”
Jon now plans on doing a similar project next year at the Slindon Estate, in Arundel, but wanted to thank the people of Pulborough for their help and support. “There has been such a diverse mix of people taking part in the creative process. I would like to thank the RSPB for allowing us to use the site and thank you to everyone who has been involved.”
But now the sculpture is complete the question is what happens next to the artwork.
Jon said he would usually sell the piece but has had many people approach him to ask if it can stay in the area.
He said: “For a sculptor it is like having a child. They grow up and then they leave you. For me it would be fantastic if the piece stayed looking towards the river Arun but you have to let things take there course. It is not my decision.”
Pulborough Parish council have been asking for residents views on whether the sculpture should stay in the area and if so where it should be located. To share your views contact firstname.lastname@example.org