Artist Rachel Carter from Derbyshire was commissioned to design and create a series of public art works to be situated within the green boulevard, a central feature of this new residential development. During the research and development phase of this commission, information came forward about a sculpture that once stood on this site by Melbourne artist Ronald Pope entitled 'Duo'. The search for the Missing Sculpture took the artist on an interesting journey of discovery into Mickleover’s past which took Rachel back to her own roots Mr Pope was an engineer for Rolls Royce.
Inspiration for the sculpture series came from the surrounding countryside, the community of Mickleover’s past and present and the University campus that once stood here. The sculpture represents growth and is represented in the natural form of a seed pod and seeds created from panels of laser cut and welded Corten Steel.
The sculpture, Following in the Footsteps, was researched, designed and delivered by artist Rachel Carter in partnership with FPRC, Derbyshire City Council and Persimmon Homes as part of their new housing development in the Mickleover area of Derby. The commission included a series of public consultations, workshops and an educational program in addition to research into the history of the town. During the consultation and workshops visitors were able to look at the research, ask questions, voice opinions and have a go at creating their own mini sculptures using paper and craft materials.
Local pupils from Murray Park secondary school were given the opportunity to work with Rachel through the workshops children were introduced to working with natural materials to create their own art works which would be used within a new piece of art for the school.
One students design was selected from a competition to design a new art installation for the art and design block, which will feature over 100 images of students art work. The winning concept features six panels with images, blocks of colour and clock faces.
“When I undertake a new sculpture commission, I feel it helps to have a base on which to form ideas and working on the commission for Mickleover has been no exception. Nature and Heritage always repeats itself within my work whether it be the material choice or looking at a traditional craft or method of working, or be it taking inspiration from the past. Nature has always played a huge part in inspiring my work as it’s the only time I can truly switch off is when I’m in the garden getting my hands dirty, it’s amazing how this period of quiet can alter the way you work and often the simplest of things can inspire your work. Nature offers so many forms, shapes, textures and tones you just have to take the time to look and explore. ”Rachel Carter".
Rachel Carter is found at www.rachelcarter.co.uk