New art trail to be installed at Lydney Harbour

By Jake Chown  
Saturday 2nd April 2022 6:00 am
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Artists’ impressions of two sculptures to be installed around Lydney harbour

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THE installation of a brand new art trail inspired by the Forest’s industrial past and natural beauty is set to begin at Lydney Harbour in the coming weeks.

Visitors to the harbour will soon be able to experience the new ‘From the Forest to the Sea’ art trail, which has been created by artist duo Denman + Gould, along the old railway from the A48 roundabout to the harbour site.

The trail has been delivered as part of the district council-led ‘Destination Lydney Harbour’ project to regenerate the area, which has so far seen the provision of the new cafe, public toilets and visitor information hub.

The bespoke artworks on the trail will be installed in stages, starting in April.

District Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Cllr Bernie O’Neil, said of the project: “These striking artworks will help to put the harbour on the map and enhance the area’s reputation as a place to see nature, heritage and art all in one place.

“Together the sculptures will raise awareness and understanding of Lydney Harbour, and create a destination for a diverse audience to engage with the unique history of the harbour.

“We can’t wait for people to come down to the harbour and experience it for themselves.”

The art trail is one of a number of improvements made to enhance the aesthetic and visitor experience at the harbour, along with new mooring points, 150 trees planted along Harbour Road and bespoke railings installed outside properties adjacent to Lydney Train Station.

The project is being funded by a £2.1 million grant from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund, along with council resources.

The trail will begin at the A48 roundabout with a sculpture called ‘Tower’, described as a timber structure that alludes to the heavy timber constructions of the industrial revolution.

The artists say the sculpture is influenced by the cross-braced supports of heavy machinery and relates to the stacks of extracted coal and imported timber seen in old photographs.

Prior to its installation, some overgrown trees and shrubs, which were found to be in poor condition by arborists, will be cleared from the roundabout.

At the harbour, two sculptures called ‘Lookout’ and ‘Coal Arch’ will “stand prominently on the headland”.

The artworks are based on the “enigmatic” presence of an octagonal structure that once stood at the base of the harbour mole, and a contrasting structure that once stood at the site of coal tip no 9.

Three “playful” stacked sculptures will connect the artworks at the A48 roundabout and the harbour, and will be discoverable on the walking trail on the old railway alongside the canal.

Creators Russell Denman and Eleanor Gould are specialists in creating public art installations which “explore ideas of community and the connecting threads that knit people and places together”.

On the new trail, the artists said: “Our work at Lydney responds to the historical relationship between the forest and the harbour, telling the story of journeys, transport and materials.”

The trail will be followed by the installation of a lit footpath between the train station and harbour, which will include the resurfacing of Harbour Road, by Gloucestershire Highways later this year.

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