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RAE 2008

Rearch Assessment Exercise 2008

Marianne Forrest
Waterwall

Artefact

Holyhead Railway Station
permanent display

April 19, 2006

wall-relief sculpture

Using an historical timeline of local events over the centuries, Marianne Forrest created this commissioned artwork adorning the walls of Holyhead’s main rail terminus and sea link to Ireland.

Her initial ideas came from the feeling that the wall was "holding something back", protecting the station occupants. It seemed that if you looked to the other side you might find a great expanse of water waiting to flood through the arches into the station concourse. The piece flows over the edge of each arch with waves made from rolled and patinated brass.

As well as exploring themes of time, Waterwall is intended to involve the local community very directly. The forms of the flowing waves are reminiscent of flags, thereby becoming part of local iconography and including artworks created during workshops within the local community.

Each flag-like panel is adorned with images created by local children from the Ucheldre Art Centre in Holyhead. The artist asked the children to draw images of various aspects of a Holyhead timeline compiled by local historians. The images include depictions of Mammoths, local industries, scenes of conflict and celebration as well as wonderful images of Queen Victoria’s visit in 1858. The images were deeply etched into the surfaces of the waves and later given an antique finish to emphasise the relief and suggest the passage of time.

One of the unique aspects of the project is the way in which the sculpture is mounted with minimal damage to the wall. As the wall is a listed Victorian structure it was required that the artwork was considerate of the value of such an architectural feature.


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