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Public to have their say on Kelvedon’s newest public art sculpture

18 Mar Public to have their say on Kelvedon’s newest public art sculpture

Cala Homes North Home Counties has announced further details of the public artwork set to be installed on its 238-home development on the edge of the village of Kelvedon, Essex.

As work continues on the new Aylett’s Green neighbourhood, Cala has revealed the appointment of renowned artist Matthew Lane Sanderson as the curator of the development’s permanent public artwork.

An established sculptor and designer, Matthew was selected from several artist submissions – based upon his previous work and nationwide reputation – to design the initial concepts and eventually curate the commission on the development.

Prior to the installation of his artwork, Matthew and Cala are calling on the community to take part in the initial design phase, to choose which creative ideas they prefer, with the most popular design being brought to life in a large-scale, original piece of art.

Matthew’s designs have been created to ensure they are appropriate for the new community, and he hopes the designs will complement the development’s built environment, which architecturally reflects its surroundings, some of which date back to Roman times.

Once known as Canonium, Kelvedon was a Roman village, with Colchester only 15km to the north, positioned at the centre of several Roman towns joined by rivers and roads, an ideal situation for a range of continental imports and local fine wares.

Matthew has revealed three unique design concepts and is encouraging residents to vote for their preferred design concepts, with the selected design being unveiled in the spring, and installation to follow within the next couple of years on site.

Pod of Peas

The rich soil of the local countryside has attracted farming and agriculture since ancient times and seeds like the popular ‘Kelvedon Wonder Pea’ helped make the town prosperous and famous in the Victorian era. This ‘Pod of Peas’ design pays homage to that heritage. A series of human scale spherical steel ‘peas’ around an open space which can be used for meeting, seating or play.

The Meeting Maple

The natural surroundings of Kelvedon made it an attractive place to settle, dating right back to the pre-Roman British Celts, whose coins have been found locally. Trees were revered and some became natural focal points. ‘The Meeting Maple’ reflects this appreciation of trees, with its steel boughs forming a sheltering canopy over its seated gathering space and metal ‘flowers of life’ representing its foliage.

The Three Broaches


Broach is an old spelling of brooch: Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni tribe, wore one into battle. The Roman Canonium Pendant, discovered at Kelvedon, takes the shape of a broach and inspired this design, consisting of three round metal sculptures.

The ‘Alder Broach’ celebrates trees and water, the ‘Map Broach’ lays out a plan of the town and the ‘Seed of Life Broach’ represents the fertility of the land. These three broaches will be 8 feet tall, and you can walk amongst them.

Matthew said: “I’m delighted to have been chosen by Cala Homes for the Aylett’s Green project and I’m eager to see how the public have voted on these initial design concepts.

“The new development definitely adds another chapter to the village’s rich history, and I think it’s equally important to ensure that the local community, can also play a role in informing part of the changing landscape.”

Matthew’s style of metal sculpture is evident across much of his existing works, using both hand skills and modern industrial technology to interpret historical craft techniques by creating original, robust, visually delicate, large-scale works of art. The winning design will see the installation fabricated at the Artist’s studio, Sanderson Sculpture Ltd, to coincide with the finishing touches being made to the Aylett’s Green development.

He continued: “Over the last 22 years, I have learned that the most successful and consequently enjoyable projects have been those with truly meaningful public engagement, which leads to really impactful public artwork.

“Often, public art is seen simply seen as decorative, but if those features are designed with local relevance, are original, and well-built with obvious effort, then people take ownership of them, care for them and use them as meeting places, play structures, way-finding points and, in some cases, adopt them as emblems or icons of that place.

“This is how these art features become more than just environmental jewellery and actually become intrinsic parts of the built environment and community. We can’t wait to create the public’s preferred design so we can start to bring it to life.”

Phillip Wright, Head of Land and Planning for Cala Homes North Home Counties, said: “It’s been excellent to work with Matthew and to see the design elements come to life in his response to the brief.
“The new open central space we’re creating, in which the artwork will take pride of place, will provide a communal meeting area for residents – it’ll serve as a real focal point for the community.

“We’re excited for local residents to have their vote on their preferred artwork, giving them the chance to influence the installation and to create another chapter in the village’s rich history.”

Cllr Gabrielle Spray, Cabinet Member for Planning and Infrastructure at Braintree District Council, said: “This is a really great opportunity for the Kelvedon community to play a role in shaping public art in their village.

“I’d encourage people to get involved in this art project and put their vote forward, and I look forward to seeing the artwork on display.”

Cala will reveal the winning artwork – as chosen by the public – later in the Spring.

Aylett’s Green consists of a collection of one and two-bedroom apartments and two, three, four and five-bedroom family homes. Houses are currently priced from £539,950 – £659,950

To participate in the public vote, please visit: