Watching the Washlands
The sculptures are intended to resemble Indian wayside icons, colourful figures which traditionally guard the boundaries of villages from evil. The two sculptures are placed a few feet apart; one is a rounded edged cuboid shape with two bulging eyes, the other is much larger and has a concave face which bears some similarity to Cubist imagery.
This sculptures form part of the Washlands Sculpture Trail which was set up by the Borough of East Staffordshire's Leisure Services with support from the Burton and District Arts Council, Burton Civic Society, Burton-upon-Trent College and West Midlands Arts. Financial aid and materials were supplied by the sponsors and local businesses. The sculptures are intended to, "offer innovative interpretations of the natural, social and historical heritage of this unique area and its relevance to the people of Burton today". (1) The projects deliberately involved local people, especially schools and various community groups.
These sculptures are inspired by the story of Burton's patron Saint Modwen, who healed afflicted eyes with water from the Trent Washlands.
On a plinth near the sculptures: 'WATCHING THE WASHLANDS'/ BY HATTIE COPPARD/ THIS SCULPTURE WAS UNVEILED BY/ MICHAEL ELLIOT,/ CHIEF EXECUTIVE WEST MIDLANDS ARTS/ ON 10TH JUNE 1993/ TO COMMEMORATE THE START OF/ THE WASHLANDS SCULPTURE TRAIL/ SUPPORTED BY/ THE BOROUGH OF EAST STAFFORDSHIRE/ WEST MIDLANDS ARTS AND / BURTON CIVIC SOCIETY
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