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Passers-by invited to touch, spin and interact with new artwork

Aerial view of people milling amongst an art installation made up of a series of cones.

A new piece of public art has been unveiled by the Mayor of Farnham off Longbridge in central Farnham. 

A Hand’s Turn by Natalie Bradwell and Livia Spinolo is a sensory, tactile, and interactive sculptural installation inspired by photographs showing barley stored at the Maltings in conical piles and the repetition of the shape on buildings across Farnham. The kinetic sculpture requires the movement of hands which symbolises how hands have been used in craft for thousands of years. 

The project which has involved Farnham Town Council, the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham Maltings and the Farnham Public Art Trust was conceived in 2020. A competitive public commission was undertaken, and the work was awarded to the winning artists in 2022. The requirements were for something that was ambitious and that created opportunities for people to connect with the environment around the work and potentially with other people.

Farnham Town Council’s Clerk, Iain Lynch says: “The project panel was very impressed by Natalie Bradwell and Livia Spinolo’s proposal. They particularly liked how members of the public could contribute to the commission at a series of workshops during October Craft Month. People were invited to ‘make their mark’ and hammer textures onto metal sheets which were used to create the installation. These marks symbolise the different crafts which make up Farnham’s heritage and which contributed to it being awarded World Craft Town status.” 

The sculpture was funded by Section 106 Environmental Enhancement monies from the building of new student accommodation at the University for the Creative Arts’ Farnham Campus. The location of the public art installation was chosen because of the links between the University and the Farnham Maltings. The flexibility of the installation allows for the work to be displayed in other parts of the town too. 

Other public art locations in Farnham include the sculpture park in Borelli Garden adjacent to the University for the Creative Arts, Hawthorne Lodge, the Lion and Lamb Yard, Victoria Gardens, the New Ashgate Gallery and the Library Gardens. A further art installation is expected to be unveiled soon in the new Brightwells Yard scheme.

To follow a trail of Farnham’s public art, download the Discover Farnham app or pick up the Public Art Trail leaflet from the Town Council office in South Street. 

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