Object Details

Crawley People's Monument

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Makers
General Information
Classification
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:The Broadway
Town:Crawley
Parish:Crawley
Council:Crawley Borough Council
County:West Sussex
Postcode:RH10
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Road or Wayside
Access is:Public
Location note:On the corner of T.J. Hughes and The Sleep Depot
In the AZ book:West Sussex
Page:10
Grid reference:F6
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.

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Makers

Name : David Parfitt
     Role:Sculptor
Name : Jane Sybilla Fordham
     Role:Sculptor
     Qualify:and

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General Information

Installation date:2007
Unveiling date:04/11/2006
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Crawley Borough Council
Object listing:Not listed
Description:Nine glacial boulders sat on a circular cobbled pavement. On the east side the area has a raised, planted bed, on the face of which is attached a plaque. The central mosaic boulder has an inset square slate plaque with an inscription and the signatures of H.M. The Queen and Prince Philip.
Iconographical description:'An autograph is a simpler personal mark, we have each developed one that comes from our own understanding of ourselves, we are known by it, relatives and loved ones recognise it. As a signature it is evidence of the actual presence of a person, touching the paper at a moment in time. From an artistic point of view the autograph is also a mark, a design, a unique pattern, if you like, a drawn symbol of someones own sense of self'.
Signatures:In the centre of the plaque, carved signatures:
Elizabeth R
Philip
Inscription:Inset square slate plaque on the central boulder, carved letters running in two lines around the four edges:

TO COMMEMORATE THE
VISIT OF HM THE QUEEN
& HRH THE DUKE OF
EDINBURGH TO CRAWLEY
ON THE OCCASION
OF THE SIXTIETH
ANNIVERSARY OF
CRAWLEY NEW TOWN

Carved, painted letters on the central stone of the retaining wall, facing east onto Broadway:

These 9 glacial boulders inscribed with patterns derived from the signatures
of the people of Crawley, and containing many more, commemorate the
60th anniversary of the town and the visit of
H.M. Queen Elizabeth II & H.R.H. Prince Philip
on the 4th of November 2006

Sclptrs: Jane Sybilla Fordham & David Parfitt 2007

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Classification

Categories:Sculptural, Free Standing, Composite, Commemorative, Abstract
Object type1:Readymade
Object type2:Sculpture
Subject type1:Pictorial
Subject type2:Symbolic

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Object Parts

Part 1:Whole footprint
     Material:None
     Width (cm):1030
     Depth (cm):1030
Part 2:Central boulder
     Material:Glacial boulder and mosaic
     Height (cm):125
     Width (cm):150
     Depth (cm):125

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Date of on-site inspection:22/01/2008

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History

History:‘Crawley was granted New town status in 1947 under the New Towns act of 1946, it was one of six such towns. This event marked the beginning of Crawley as an important regional centre.
The Crawley of today is a thriving bustling place, It is a modern town filled with diversity and energy that has come a long way from the small turnpike staging post of the 1800’s. Yet despite this extraordinary growth, hints of Crawleys past can still be found, through its architecture and the layout of the town it is possible to understand some of the changes that Crawley has seen. Alongside these clues to Crawleys past, The town like many others, has a tradition of making more formal commemorations of particular occasions when everybody comes together to mark special moments in the life of the town or the country. Jubilee Oak in the High Street was planted c.1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee festivities. Queens square and Queensway were named to commemorate the royal visit of 1958. To continue this tradition a return Royal visit was planned to celebrate Crawleys 60th anniversary as a new town, and a new commemorative feature was inaugurated by the Queen and Prince Phillip to mark the occasion. For the public reception, at the beginning of the Royal progress around Crawley on the 4th of November 2006, the first part of the new feature, along with a model of the final intended monument, was temporarily exhibited in Queens Square for the Queen and Prince Phillip to inspect. The concept and future location of the work was described to the Royal visitors and they consented to be the first to provide their signatures towards the new monument that celebrates the town and the people of Crawley in 2007. Immediately that it was known that the Queen and Prince Phillip intended to visit Crawley to mark the Towns anniversary it became clear that some form of commemoration should be planned to mark the occasion for future generations. Despite the obvious secrecy due to security fears, the council set in motion a selection procedure and sought funding for a project to commission a unique new feature for the town. The chosen design was presented by Jane Sybilla Fordham and David Parfitt who proposed a work that sought to fix in a symbolic monument, this particular period in the life of Crawley, including its inhabitants as part of the larger British community. The way they chose to do this was to seek a way of representing the current inhabitants of Crawley, amongst an object that somehow symbolises the nation in time. These two themes developed in parallel, while all the time considering the simplest, most direct ways of combining them.

The Object
Looking back, the earliest form of monument within the British Isles, standing stones, suggested the use of natural boulders. Glacial boulders from Scotland that have been shaped by thousands of years of movement. Smooth, rounded, almost living shapes that perhaps represent individual people, each one self contained but arranged as a group. Like a nest of huge eggs, a clutch, a family, looking forward. Taking the locality into account it became obviously appropriate to surround the nest with newly planted trees. This nest of boulders, a community in the weald. As successfully as these forms may, in basic simple terms, symbolise the town of Crawley as part of the substance of Britain, its individuals and its community, the work would still lack the spark that makes them specific to this particular moment and the actual living people that they are intended to commemorate. To represent the actual people of crawley, each one in some way built into the monument, we shifted our perspective to consider the individuals that make up the town and looked for something that everyone has, but something that also epitomises each persons individuality. Something that we could, in some way, develop to fit with the boulders. The answer came in the form of autographs; on the face of it, an autograph is the mark of a person. As a signature it is evidence of the actual presence of a person, touching the paper at a moment in time. From an artistic point of view the autograph is also a mark, a design, a unique pattern, if you like, a drawn symbol of someones own sense of self. Autographs provided the answer, an ideal starting point for developing a decorative design to cover the surface of the boulders with. Exploring the many ways that autographs could become the basis for recording this moment on the boulders we realised that we were once again following an ancient tradition, petraglyphs, inscriptions in stone. Our task then became clear to find a distinctive, original way to incorporate the autographs of the people of Crawley onto the boulders of the new monument.

Why Autographs?
The purpose of the new monument is to symbolise the town of Crawley as part of the substance of Britain, its individuals and its community. The forms of the boulders themselves represent the community and the place, if you like, the collective identity of Crawley. In order to find a way of representing the actual individuals of Crawley, we considered the people that make up the town and looked for some commonality that everyone has, but is unique to each individual, something that epitomises each persons individuality. One choice would have been to use photographs, images of people; for many reasons this was far too complicated both to gather and to use within the design. Photographs are also in a way, about being seen from outside, captured by others; photographs are 'taken' - for this monument it is more appropriate that something be 'given'. A token that comes from the person themselves has a very different meaning. An autograph is a simpler personal mark, we have each developed one that comes from our own understanding of ourselves, we are known by it, relatives and loved ones recognise it. As a signature it is evidence of the actual presence of a person, touching the paper at a moment in time. From an artistic point of view the autograph is also a mark, a design, a unique pattern, if you like, a drawn symbol of someones own sense of self. Autographs provided the answer, the ideal starting point for developing a decorative design for the boulders of the new monument.

In gathering autographs, how can we best represent all the people of Crawley?
The ideal would perhaps be to gather autographs from everyone in the town. This is clearly an impossible task, the population in 2001 stood at 100,000 people. If we were to miss a single person it could be seen as unfair, and in terms of the project, a failure. In addition the population figure only includes residents, it does not take into account the important contribution of those who work and visit the town on a regular basis, or those who have worked on behalf of the town, surely an attempt to represent Crawley should not exclude them. The answer is to see the collected signatures as a symbolic snapshot of the people of Crawley in the year 2007. To seek autographs from all walks of life and to refuse none. Everybody that wishes their autograph to be used toward the monument will be included, provided that they give one. To actually make contact with a fair, reasonable and representative cross-section of the people that can honestly be said to represent Crawley is still a tricky proposition. We aim to be as inventive as possible in reaching people, to begin with we will seek help from the usual media sources such as the local papers, and we will work with Crawley Borough Council to reach schools, organisations and societies that they are aware of. We will approach employers, shops and individuals, encouraging everyone to spread the word. We will establish collection points so that people can submit their autographs in shops and council premises – keep an eye on this site for a collection point near you.
Considering fears regarding identity theft that many may have about contributing their autograph. We make all assurances that any autograph that is submitted will never be stored with any personal details that could be used to identify you. In fact we strongly recommend that all autographs are contributed anonymously, without an attached name or address on small pieces of paper. A signature alone is of very little use for those who might attempt abuse.
(http://crawleyite.blogspot.com/)

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References


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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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