The Hampshire Jubilee Sculpture
The Hampshire Jubilee Sculpture
Inspired by Winchester’s Castle and Cathedral and Hampshire’s rich natural resources, this sculpture is a meeting place with a timeless quality.
The segments in the outer circle form a Round Table. One half, decorated with fleur-de-lys and castles, symbolises the reign of Edward I and Eleanor of Castile during which time the Round Table was probably made. The other half illustrates religious presences using arches and arcades. The words relate to fundamental and continuous aspects of society; religion, prosperity and royal governance.
The flowing design in the centre circle recalls the wet lands around Winchester Cathedral. The focal point, a large stone ‘Throne’ surrounded by three guardian figures, which reflect Winchester’s position as a traditional home to monarchs and bishops. The
‘Alfred’ stone, with its Celtic design influences, symbolises ancient days and embodies the great King’s dedication to art, religion and defence of the realm.
The ‘Mitre’ stone represents the authority and influence of the Christian Church.
The ‘Overflow’ stone refers to the rich resources of Hampshire that assisted the early growth of this country and which continue today.
The three ‘Moot Horns’, used in ancient times to call people together at a meeting place or Moot, celebrate 50 years since Elizabeth II’s coronation. Interwoven round the ‘Throne’ are three of Hampshire’s rivers, sources of life and symbols of continuity.
The work is by Rachel Fenner a local sculptor. She has used Massangis Jaune, a hard french limestone, for the main elements and her palette of colours for the mosaics was influenced by medieval manuscripts.
The Sculptured Elements
The stone opposite the ‘Throne’ also referring to Winchester’s Royal connections over a long period (Capital City of England, Capital of Wessex, Royal Mint, Royal Treasury etc.) is called the ‘Alfred Stone’. Decoration carved on each side is drawn from the two styles of decoration which existed in King Alfred’s time, one influenced by the retreating Vikings and one that developed into the ‘Winchester Style’ through Alfred’s own dedication to the Arts. The ‘Alfred Stone’ embodies Art, Religion and Defence.
The two stones presences to the North East and North West of the ‘Throne’ are the ‘Mitre Stone’ referring to the bishops and religious history and the ‘Overflow Stone’ referencing the rich resources of the City and County.
Additional figuration uses in the inner circle is based on the Winchester ‘Moot Horn’, an ancient horn that was used to call people together at a meeting place (Moot), in this instance to herald the Jubilee.
The channels running through the central platform symbolise the water running through both Winchester and Hampshire and help the design to flow. In the absence of water I decided to use blue fibre optic lighting cable under glass paving blocks to give a special identity and 21st century look to the work. In addition, blue and blue-green mosaic tile runs will be used.
The overall colour palette is restricted to colours of Medieval manuscripts: blues, terracotta reds, blacks and off-whites. The colour of the stone used in the sculpture is a warm buff-yellow and is called Massangis Jaune, a very hard limestone from France. The outer circle will be tile mosaic and use red, black and off-white, with perhaps some Blue Liass (Somerset Stone). The inner area will use pebbles, blue and blue-green tiles.
Rachel Fenner 2002
The outer circle, 100mm deep, uses a division of twenty four segments, as used in the Round Table and also approximates to its diameter. This is divided into two separate runs of ten segments, one half for the Castle, on the Law Courts side which is drawn from a Medieval tile associated with Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I and one of the queens commemorated in the nearby Queen Eleanor’s Garden.
The opposite ten segments refer to religious presences and the arches and arcades of the Cathedral. The remaining four segments are to incorporate either dates, or references to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and Hampshire County Council, or symbols and images of its resources.
The central circle 200mm high is divided into three, in a curvilinear fashion to facilitate the flowing quality of the design. This geometry draws upon the Cathedral and accommodates a central ‘Throne’ carving and three ‘Guardian’ figures.
Establish the two Centre Lines. Using their intersection as the point of origin describe two circles - one 8,050mm diameter and one 5,850mm diameter.
Create two equilateral triangles aligned on the North - South centre line contained by the 5,850mm circle
Describe a line that cuts through the two points of intersection of the two triangles
Create a third circle whose point of origin is the intersection of the two Centre Lines with a radius that is equal to the distance between the point of origin and the point at which the line created in Step 3 intersects the North - South centre line.
Using the distance between the angle of an equilateral triangle and a point of tangent on the opposite side of the small circle created in Step 4 as a radius, described three large arcs centred on the angles of the equilateral triangles marked A, B and C. Using the same points of origin describe three parallel arcs with radii 320mm greater than the first three.
Describe three lines from points A,B and C to the points on the small circle created in Step 4 that are the points of origin for the large arcs created in Step 5. Using points A,B and C as points of origin and the length of these lines to the points where they intersect the large arcs as the radii, describe three arcs that run from the tangent point on the larger arcs to the circumference of the 5,850mm circle. Using the same points of origin describe three arcs that are of 320mm greater radius than the first three.
Divide the outer ring between the two large circles into 24 equal parts - each will be 15 degree segments of the circles. From the points on the circumference of the 8,050mm diameter circle that lies 15 degrees clockwise of points A,B and C describe lines that meet the outer of the large arcs created in Step 5 at the points of intersection with the sides of triangle ABC.
Using the points on the outer circle at the end of each of the three lines described in Step 7 as the points of origin describe three arcs whose radii lie along those lines determined by the point of intersection by the outer of the large arcs created in Step 5. The three new arcs should be drawn from those points of intersection to the circumference of smaller of the outer circles. Using the same points of origin describe three similar arcs with 320mm larger radii. This completes the layout of the rivers that will be formed as a continuous trench in the base of the sculpture.
The intersecting pairs of arcs should now be connected to create the intended configuration that will form a continuous channel.
Form an outcrop along the centre line whose sides are related back to the adjacent panels on the outer ring. Describe two circles inside each of the main circles but smaller by 110 mm radius, the width of the 100 mm pre-cast kerbs and a 10 mm mortar joint.
The stones are to be located as shown along the various axis demonstrated in this stage. The outward faces of the Mitre and Overflow stones rest their corners against the inside circle of the kerbs on 5,850mm circle. Each stone is located in place by two dowels set into the concrete base, fitting two holes pre drilled in the base of the stone.
Rachel Fenner 2002
The main panels were made by the artist in her studio and delivered to the site in sections.
Careful laying in place was followed by on site grouting and finishing.
The fleur-de-lys is associated with Eleanor of Castile and was used by Kings of France as an emblem of their sovereignty. It is based on the iris flower that blooms in abundance along the river Lys in Flanders.
Eleanor was queen to Edward l who is represented by the Castle, many of which he constructed across the land.
The double arch is a symbol of the great architecture of the cathedrals.
The image of the dark figure or monk is taken from the traditional design of stone coffins and echoes religious piety and mortality.
Rachel Fenner: Environmental Sculptor
Born in Scarborough, Yorkshire.
Trained at the Royal College of Art – a double 1st.
Extensive teaching experience and solo exhibitions in Great Britain.
Moved to Hampshire to take up an appointment created by the Arts Council as a pilot scheme to explore the boundaries and develop the scope of Art in Public Places. This resulted in the design and completion of ‘Brick Whirlpool’ in 1982, a sculpture and landscape for Portsmouth Social Services centre and in ‘Hill Sentinels’ for Fort Hill School in Basingstoke.
Became Southern Arts Artist in Residence which led to the design and production of the ‘St. Denys Earthworks and Landscape’ completed in 1985.
Numerous Public Art projects followed. Eighteen of these in Hampshire and subsequently a number of Archaeological Site Markers in Southampton which included the ‘Saxon Column’ on the site of Hamwic in St. Mary’s Street, the ‘Romans-Celtic Paving Sculpture’ at Bitterne Manor School in Quayside Road, ‘Saxon Gate Guardian Courtyard’ in Canal Walk and recently the ‘Medieval Guardian’ paving sculpture in Winkle Street.
Work in other regions included the design work for the Dock Museum and the channel-side mosaic pavements at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria and the Main Artwork at Colchester Hospital.
The ‘Friendship Stone’ for Bilbao Europe Park was commissioned to represent Hampshire to the Province of Viscaya in Northern Spain.
Recently completed public spaces include the ‘Flowing Landscape’ for Countess Mountbatten House Hospice opened by Prince Charles in the year 2000, the ‘Link Stone Fountain’ for Malvern Link Interchange in Worcestershire, and ‘Siloh Square’ a new public space at Ystrad Mynach in the Rhonda Valley, near Caerphilly.
Find the Jubilee Sculpture
Follow signs to the Great Hall
then turn far left at the end of the Council buidlings on your right.
The sculpture is outside the Law Courts