Hole in the ground scores art award
WOODLAND water music has helped a rural arts group scoop a top award for the third time in 14 years.
The remarkable hat-trick by Stour Valley Arts is unique in the history of the pioneering Rouse Kent Public Art Award, founded by the developer of Kings Hill, West Malling.
The three awards have all been for unusual artistic creations in woodland settings.
This year’s winner, A Score for a Hole in the Ground, features a giant steel horn in King’s Wood, Challock. It collects water and channels the drips to create music.
The work consists of a steel horn, modelled on the trumpet of an old gramophone, rising seven metres above the ground among the beech trees deep in the wood, a seven-metre chamber and a pond which is eight metres in diameter.
The horn amplifies droplets of falling water in the concrete chamber beneath, producing a bell-like sound.
The weather changes the music – for example in a torrential downpour it reaches a crescendo while in the drought it is silent, except for the effects of the breeze brushing against the instruments.
The work, which cost £87,000, was commissioned by Stour Valley Arts and created by Londonbased Jem Finer.
Sandra Drew, Stour Valley Arts director, said: “It’s by far the biggest project we’ve ever done.
“We had £50,000 to build it with and very quickly we ran out of money.
“We had to use more money from the Arts Council and Henry Moore Foundation to get it completed.”
The £5,000 prize money will be used to create a performance site and expand the number of musical instruments visible to the public.
The award is supported by Liberty Property Trust UK (formerly Rouse Kent), Kent County Council and Arts Council England, South East.
A Score for a Hole in the Ground was the winner of the Rouse Kent Public Art Award 2007
Sandra Drew of Stour Valley Arts with, from left, Nick Condon of Liberty Property Trust UK, Richard Cork, chairman of the judging panel, and artist Jem Finer