Important facts about the project

  • Raises awareness about art, sustainability, local weather & climate change issues
  • Adheres to sustainable practice in the project implementation
  • Local businesses involved in the manufacture of artwork
  • Apedale community groups and schools closely involved in the projects development
  • Collaborative work between artists, Staffordshire County Council and specialist environment and landscape consultants

A Change in the Weather

Chrysalis Arts was commissioned by Staffordshire County Council as a flagship project funded by ‘Greening for Growth’ to create temporary and permanent artworks for Apedale Community Country Park with the theme of climate change and involving the local community. The idea of the project 'A Change in the Weather' was to raise awareness of the issues of climate change and sustainability in the region. The art project had a number of strands:

  • A returnable postcard inviting people to draw or write their thoughts on climate change and how it is affecting the Staffordshire weather.
  • Temporary artwork produced in community workshops led by the artists, with work ranging from montage pictures and animated videos to wind vanes and sculptures.
  • Permanent Way Markers that are sited on various routes about the park
  • A Landmark Sculpture called ‘A Change in The Weather’ sited on the top of the hill at Apedale near the site for the new Energy Station.

Landmark Sculpture; ‘A Change in the Weather’

The Landmark Sculpture 'A Change in the Weather' can be seen on many levels as an iconic work, it has its roots in the community and landscape of Apedale, its symbolic figure marking the change in the sites energy generation from coal to renewable sources, it represents a flagship project for sustainability and a chance for Staffordshire to promote its public profile in the regional, national and international move to combat climate change. The overall landmark sculpture design relates to 'A' for Apedale and draws reference to the landmark pit wheel with its supporting A frame, a recognisable symbol of mining heritage. The hill top location, nearby to the proposed Energy Station, allows the sculpture to be seen silhouetted against the skyline from the Loomer Road Entrance and from Black Bank Road. It makes a recognisable visual link with the Way Markers that will mark routes through the park and symbolises Apedale as a site for 'New Energy'.

The sculpture takes the form of a symbolic human figure carrying a bird and reacting to changes in the weather, the figure's 'head' and 'bird' vanes move to face the changing wind directions. With a favourable wind strength, the sculpture 'sings' through wind activated pipes tuned to the key of A Minor, the pipes located in the head and bird producing continual notes of A and E and additional pipes forming the sculpture 'body' add different notes, according to the changing wind direction, from the A Minor scale.

The sculpture makes reference to the four elements of 'air water fire and earth' (linked to the Energy Station and landscape proposals) the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn, winter and the rotation of the celestial bodies, in particular earth, sun, moon and stars.

The kinetic sculpture reacts to the weather with an overall focus on new sources of renewable energy. The natural force of wind powering the moving parts, rain and sun will fill and empty a circular pool beneath the sculpture which adds reflection, a natural wetland habitat and some security to the artwork. The integrity of the sculpture is maintained through the sustainable process of implementation, it is an example of the way to approach construction locally and with environmental responsibly;

  • The sculpture design has been considered and refined to include only the essential elements.
  • The materials are locally sourced and have been selected for their durability, recycle-ability, natural character and appropriateness.
  • TThe companies and individuals who constructed and installed the sculpture are local to Apedale and are all approaching the work to minimise environmental impact.

The companies and institutions involved with Chrysalis Arts in the development of the sculpture include;

Keele University, Newcastle Countryside Project, Staffordshire Council's Planners, Architects and Landscape Architects, Metanodic Engineers, Sweetmore Foundry of Chesterton, Sandon Mill and Sandon Estate, Bowbells Joinery of Sandon, JS Oldham Quarry of Hollington, John Corkhill Pipe Organs and F. Booth and Son.

Post Way Marker - A Frame Way Marker

The creation of the Way Markers followed sustainable design principals and were installed without using cement in the foundations to fit a variety of different locations on sloping or level ground, hard or soft landscape. Stainless steel was selected for the detailed artwork as a very versatile, durable and recycle-able material, requiring minimal finishing. Very locally sourced (Sandon Estate) green oak make up the support posts, machining was kept to a minimum, finishing and installation was by the Newcastle Countryside Project rangers and volunteers. Sweetmore Foundry and Metanodic Engineers are very local to Apedale, their work practice conforms to Stafford’s current environmental standards.

Community groups were involved in creating low relief designs for cast oval plaques that mounted on the Green Oak Post and A Frame Way Markers. These are differently themed according to the route they mark and can be used for crayon rubbing. The foundry patterns could be used in the future to produce more Way Markers as the new Air, Fire, Earth, Water pathways are established at Apedale.