In late 2016 I worked with Surrey Hills Arts and completed a commission to design and build a bench seat at a spectacular viewpoint along the Greensands Way in the Surrey Hills. The seat I made sits on top of Reynards Hill in the Hurtwood.
The Greensands Way was formed over 65 million years ago and is the result of a great cycle of marine sedimentation that lasted until the end of the Cretaceous period. At that time the land lay at the bottom of a shallow sea. The action of the ocean currents in the past, the layers of sedimentation, contours of the land and the visible forms and cycles of nature inspired my design.
I have worked extensively with composite laminated shapes in my work and this geological history, natural landscape and mineral and OS mapping were an obvious source of inspiration. I designed a dynamic abstract form to lay under a functional sitting platform.
Made from recycled plastic and marine grade stainless steel it will not rot, rust or change colour and is virtually maintenance free. In this era of waste I think it is important to conserve energy and natural resources where possible. So I am delighted to have had the opportunity to be creative with this much maligned but very useful material.
I find it thought provoking to consider that this plastic (made from oil) also has ancient origins and may have been being formed at the same time as the landscape it now sits in.