Words by Nikki Hotchin
Clay celebration (June 25th) as UK’s tallest ceramic sculpture is installed in St Austell
The Austell Project’s Whitegold Ceramic Art Trail is to be completed, after three years in the making, marked by the arrival of the UK’s tallest ceramic sculpture.
The exciting new ceramic sculpture, entitled Earth Goddess, has been created by artist Sandy Brown – and stands at 11.5m high (which is bigger than two double decker buses on top of each other!).
The striking form is made from five large circles of clay, each built in three sections, placed on top of each other. Looking like giant ceramic beads on a metal pole – with outstretched arms, about 6m wide, decorated with drops and flashes of bright colour.
The creation is intended as a celebration of St Austell’s connection to China clay. Artist Sandy Brown says: “I really wanted this sculpture to make an impact and for it to visually connect with St Austell’s rich China clay heritage. The Earth Goddess is made of the product, clay, which is so intrinsic to this place. It’s my hope that she celebrates the town’s unique history and represents our collective and eternal roots with the environment, nature, and mother earth.”
The arrival of the Earth Goddess also marks the completion of the Austell Project’s incredible Whitegold Art Trail – a new (outdoor) public art gallery made up of 18 bespoke ceramic commissions created by leading artists. Each piece is designed to express the town’s connection to China clay, the landscape, and local people.
On June 25th the Austell Project is hosting a public clay celebration event for the big reveal of the Earth Goddess, in Aylmer Square at 2pm – all are welcome to come along to see the UK’s tallest ceramic sculpture.
The celebration also marks the grand finale of the Austell Project’s ambitious cultural programme of public art & horticultural installations in and around St Austell town – which aimed to reimagine St Austell by celebrating the town’s unique China clay heritage.
Programme for the Clay Celebration on June 25th, from 12pm in Aylmer Square:
- 12:00pm – ‘Clay Celebration’ opens with ceramic hands on activities, dance performances & music plus a guided tour of the Whitegold Art Trail with the Austell Project’s Ceramics Curator Dr Alex Murdin.
- 2:00pm – The ‘Big Reveal’ of the Earth Goddess. Artist Sandy Brown will share her love of St Austell’s China clay, an amazing material for artists, and what influenced her to create the Earth Goddess.
- 2:30pm -3pm– Whitegold Art Trail guided tour of the new public art projects around the town by some of the artists involved – sharing how they were made and the inspiration behind them.
Alex Murdin, Whitegold Project Curator, says: “St Austell is famous for its China clay and has been since about 1740, but as the clay industry declined so did the town’s economic fortune. Part of what we’ve been doing is inviting world-famous artists to create special public art commissions especially for St Austell, made of clay which helped build this community, to encourage people to think differently about their place and see it differently as well. It’s been an incredible project, years in the making and we can’t wait to see the Earth Goddess take her place in St Austell – once again putting the town on the map!”