Catherine Stephens-Ward, Arts Officer Sustrans Cymru
Construction of the artwork has begun, and today I visited the site to see how the artist, Jony Easterby is getting on. Despite having visited the site on numerous occasions I am always taken aback by how vast it is! Measuring just over one hectare, it’s a huge site for a public artwork, making it arguably Sustrans’ most ambitious art project to date.
Jony has been working tirelessly on the site for the last three weeks, and it shows! Already the site, a former coalfield has been transformed and the artwork is taking shape. There are diggers excavating the ground to create a wetland area at the centre of the site and the leftover earth is being used to create a raised pathway which will provide access into the artwork. I also saw monumental blue pennant stone boulders, which will eventually be used to form a partial screen around the wetlands.
Having worked with the artwork design on paper over the last several months, it is so exciting to finally see it come into fruition. The vastness of the site makes everything seem much larger in real life than I had expected. Jony was excited to give me a guided tour of the site however I was not prepared for how boggy the ground was. Wearing sandals meant that I was forced to observe from afar, however this meant I was able to take some good photographs.
In the short time I was there, I spotted many families walking past and stopping to look at the construction work. I spoke to one local family and explained the project and what it will eventually look like. They seemed impressed and said what a difference it would make to the area.