Colville Road Public Art Programme
The development of the site at Colville Road saw a creative programme delivered by Alec Finlay and Janetka Platun in collaboration with members of the community.
M E D I U S
‘Medius‘ is the outcome of artist Janetka Platun’s research and collaboration with residents.
Medius weaves together unique pieces of local history; the iconic cherry trees commemorating the loss of servicemen and women; the local chalk pits that once quarried clunch, a hard chalk used in local buildings; and the 19th-century discovery of unusually tall skeletons found locally and their resonance with the giant Gog Magog myths.
These histories are brought together at the location of the new Colville Road housing, where the artwork is located. This is believed to be the site of the old village green, a middle place – or medius – between the settlements of Church End and Mill End.
Janetka worked with local historian Michelle Bullivant to explore these themes and together they delivered public walks and talks that traced these histories. Janetka also worked with children, staff and parents at Colville school, delivering workshops that explored students’ perception of where the centre of Cherry Hinton is in relation to their body and height.
Central to the project was the involvement of local people. Their contribution, marking a moment in time, has been translated into the final piece. Using local chalk and cherry wood, two hundred residents were invited to have their height marked on tally sticks to create a median height of the community.
The final artwork is suspended from a newly planted cherry tree. A ring made from cherry wood and resin containing one hundred million-year-old chalk from a ridge that stretches from England to Europe hangs at the median height of the community. Medius continues a relationship with the land, belonging physically, conceptually, and emotionally to the area.
The ring is accompanied by a Tottenhoe clunch boulder, which has been cut through the middle to reveal the title of the work. A place to sit and contemplate the ‘slow drama’ as the tree grows into the space the ring occupies. Like the new housing development around it, it will slowly settle and grow into its surroundings.
Our thanks to Michelle Bullivant, Mo Childs, Tracy Saunders, the staff, children and parents of Colville School, and all the people who participated.
‘The Sun Spoke’ by Alec Finlay
Alec has installed three poem tree stakes and a poem fingerpost creating a poetry walk along the edge side of the site.
Artworks were commissioned to enrich the new location and enhance the public space provided through the scheme. The artists commissioned for Colville Road included Janetka Platun and Alec Finlay.
Photography by David X Green
Background Colville Road
The development at Colville Road provides 69 new affordable homes. High-quality, energy-efficient, wheelchair-accessible homes and new open spaces have been created at the site.