To create a landmark sculpture for the market square of a forming mining town, able to become a functioning part of the market.
As the surrounding area is in the process of being re-greened following the closure of the pits, the idea of a sculpture that changes form came to us. Both the current re-greening of the area and the former daily experience of miners emerging above ground made us think of a closed and monochrome flower bud opening to reveal colourful petals. Such a structure would be tall enough when closed to become a landmark and wide enough when open to become a market stall for several people to share.
We chose to cast the petals in aluminium, which allowed us to model the surface with mining imagery and gave the closed bud an industrial era greyness to contrast with the powder coated sunshine yellow of the open petals. Chris Brammall Ltd fabricated the steel structure and took on the challenge of developing a rachet mechanism to enable the petals to move easily and safely, whilst ensuring they would be stable and strong enough to sit on when open.