By www.andoverandvillages.co.uk (words and photo credit)
On Monday, 6 October, renowned artist Chris Brammall helped the Mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Jan Lovell, to unveil his spectacular flight and navigation-inspired sculpture at the entrance to Andover Business Park. The piece pays homage to the site’s history as the former home of RAF Andover and has been beautifully engineered using galvanised steel and aluminium. Councillor Ian Carr was also in attendance at the ceremony in his role as Leader of the Council, but also with a personal interest in the redevelopment of the Airfield. Councillor Carr was a former RAF Aircrew Officer based at Andover as part of 21 squadron flying Devons. It was the last squadron to fly from the site.
Decades have passed since the Lockheed P38 Lightning and the Westland Pterodactyl soared above the town of Andover in Hampshire. This new piece of public art will mean that the aircraft will take to the skies once more.
Standing at 13 metres at its highest point, the stunning work of art has been funded by global integrated property group, Goodman, owner and developer of Andover Business Park. The sculpture project commenced at the end of March and has taken six months to complete.
George Glennie, Development Director at Goodman, said: “We’re pleased to have been involved with bringing such a unique sculpture with historical relevance to the area. At Goodman we are passionate about adding value to all of the regions where we operate. We’re thrilled that this new artwork will call Andover Business Park home and be enjoyed by both employees and local residents.”
Chris Brammall, the artist, said: “Due to the scale of the sculpture and the fascinating context surrounding the theme of the piece, Flight and Navigation has been the type of challenge which we, as a company, always look forward to.
“The opportunity to engage with the public and the various stakeholders has been highly rewarding. We feel that this has enabled us to produce a piece that accurately portrays the aspirations of everyone involved, while at the same time, creates a statement that enables the story of RAF Andover and its local community to continue on into the future.”
Chris also worked with the local community to develop an information panel to accompany the artwork. It includes a fascinating mixture of memories, facts and anecdotes relating to the site. The last flag to fly at RAF Andover has been kept safe for decades by Councillor Ian Carr, and was brought back into service at the ceremony. It was draped over the panel ready for the sculpture’s official unveiling.
Councillor Tony Ward, Portfolio Holder for Community and Leisure, said: “The work of art is simply stunning. It captures beautifully the elegance and physics of flight. You can almost hear the whoosh and thrum of the engines as they score a path through the clouds.
“Future generations would not know about the history of the site without trawling the history books. This sculpture will act as a permanent reminder of the aircraft and military men and women who took to the skies above the town. This is such an exciting day for Andover and I hope residents and visitors will enjoy the piece for decades to come.”
A commissioning panel comprising Test Valley borough councillors, Goodman developers, Council officers and external arts professionals conducted a vigorous shortlisting process to arrive at their final decision. More than 69 artists from around the world submitted initial designs for the installation.