Tide of controversy over artist's wave sculpture
A GIANT metal wave created by shipyard apprentices could be created in Appledore.
The three-metre tall sculpture may be built for the village's Visual Arts Festival in June.
But plans for the artwork to be left in the village after the festival ends have met with a mixed reaction, with one resident saying people in the village are fed up with having art imposed on them.
The suggestion is that the sculpture, designed by Sussex artist Jane Churchill, would be left somewhere near the Churchfield car park.
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Some villagers supported the idea when it was revealed at a meeting on Saturday.
But others, still baffled by the six-foot-high Time and Tide bell left over from the arts festival in 2009, are not keen on their latest gift from the art world.
Jenny Arnold, a committee member for Appledore Residents' Association, said: "Appledore residents would much rather the festival came and went rather than leaving local people to look at permanent art fixtures in the village.
"We have a wonderful art work piece designed by Maggie Curtis, an Appledore artist who specialises in ceramics.
"The piece showcases the history of Appledore and I do feel that many residents would like to see the design created for the village.
"Why can the festival not fund a local artist?
"It's very important to note that people come to Appledore because it is pretty, it is a pretty working village.
"We are not St Ives. We are not about the arts – we just have the arts imposed on us.
"Appledore residents are street fighters when it comes to protecting our village and if this is a permanent fixture we will fight this."
Resident David Avery, of Appledore Community Trust, said: "The sculpture is quite nice. What the residents are worrying about is where they are going to put it.
"The shape could mean children will climb on it and therefore it could be unsafe. There is also the issue of rust."
The artist, Jane Churchill, said: "I would not want to impose my art work on anyone and this is why we are having consultations and will apply for planning permission.
"I understand a lot of residents did not like the bell but this is a very different piece and I feel is a very different concept. I just ask they take a look at this project, with an open mind and give as much feedback as possible."
Fully supporting the design was archaeologist Polly Thompson of Market Street.
She said: "It is such an exciting project for Appledore to be involved in. I think it is wonderful that the school is taking part also.
"I have lived in Appledore all my life and I do feel like this art work would celebrate the ship yard and the village's history — it's beautiful.
"I think the suggestion of placing it on the Churchfields site is appropriate as it was a ship yard at one time."
The artist said the work would capture the movement of the wave while imitating the skeleton of the hull of a ship— celebrating Appledore's past, present and future.
The community artist, 36, said: "I visited Appledore and the maritime museum and I was so inspired by the village and its history.
"I could not get over how interesting Appledore was and I really wanted to collaborate with the shipyard. This will be a celebration of art and engineering."
Rae Hoole of Appledore Visual Arts Festival, said: "Jane does a lot of community based art work so it is very exciting to have her on board for this year's festival."
The wave will be created out of recycled steel donated to the festival by the Babcock shipping yard.
Training Officer for Babcock Will Bowden, said: "We have been collaborating with Jane for months discussing ideas.
"Nine apprentices will be involved in the building of the sculpture which will allow them to use their skills for something a little bit different. Babcock is really excited to be involved."
The Visual Arts Festival did not happen last year due to a lack of funding.
This year the Arts Council England is backing the event with a £60,000 grant over two years.
The Appledore Visual Arts Festival will start on June 7, finishing June 10.
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