A contemporary piece of art chosen by the public has just been installed at Bracknell Train Station.
The art, created by Samuel Zealey, was picked by hundreds of people as their favourite piece to adorn the forecourt of the train station as part of the Gateway project, which was run in conjunction with South Hill Park Arts Centre.
More than 900 people voted for their favourite piece, with Zealey’s creation taking the top spot over 4 other contenders. Voters described it as ‘original’, ‘striking’ and ‘pioneering’, with Zealey stating at the time that he believed it was important to create thought-provoking public sculptures.
The sculpture was installed on Thursday, 22 November, by the artist and his technical team – some planting and landscaping work to complement the sculpture will be carried out in the run up to Christmas. The art work and installation was paid for by developer contributions.
Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker, Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said:
“The public were asked to pick their favourite piece during a showcase of different artistic designs at South Hill Park Arts Centre and the piece by Samuel Zealey was the clear winner.
“The sculpture has now been installed at Bracknell Train Station for residents, visitors and commuters to enjoy. It further adds to the cultural offering of our new town centre.”
The artist’s design, entitled Onyo sees a layered infrastructure emerging from a bedrock, which appears to reside at ‘tipping point’. With references to a recognizable, well-loved family game, the sculpture is playful. The design relates to Bracknell primarily through regeneration – the idea of progress (the continuous building of the structure) and a tipping point, leading to a new process of building.
The layers represent a visual history as it starts with archaic materials representing Bracknell’s humble beginning as a prehistoric town and develops systematically through the layers to newer materials higher in the structure. The materials used were:
- granite boulder - stone stage: York stone, slate, marble, yellow granite, pink granite, Portland stone, white granite; wood stage - Ekki, Greenheart, Jarrah, Opepe
- metallic stage: copper, brass, powered coated mild steel
- orange - stainless steel, mirrored stainless steel, corten steel, aluminium, checkered plate.
Samuel Zealey, said:
“The newly installed public sculpture Onyo is one of my most ambitious and important works to date. Ambitious in its array of eclectic materials brought together from the six continents inhabited by humanity and important due to the works philosophical identity. This piece was a huge undertaking and could not be realised without the collaboration and technical support of the industries involved - Andy R Martin & Associates, CED Stone Group, D&D Engineering, Ashwells Tropical Timber and Stowe Steel.
“I am proud to finally see Onyo a reality for Bracknell’s community to enjoy. I hope over time the piece will become a Bracknell landmark and appreciated by its new home and community."
Catherine Cooke, Senior Curator at South Hill Park Arts Centre, added:
"It is wonderful to see such a stunning, well crafted, quality contemporary art work in a public space. It has been a pleasure working with Samuel Zealey and seeing this sculpture being realised using materials from all over the world. For me, the sculpture Onyo invites us to reflect on the natural environment and area heritage whilst also acknowledging human innovation. It is this precarious balance between the two which leads us to contemplate and what better space to do this than at the beginning or end of a journey.”
Samuel Zealey graduated with an MA in sculpture from the Royal College of Art in 2012. He is a selected member of the Royal Society of Sculptors’ and is represented by Zuleika Gallery in London. He produces both contemporary sculpture for galleries and public art nationally and internationally. Most recently Zealey has developed his Steel Folded Plane Series within the UK, Mexico and soon California.
Zealey also worked with 430 children as part of South Hill Park Art Centre’s annual Missed! MOLE week exploring materials and contemporary art.
The art work and installation was paid for by developer contributions not taxpayers’ money.