‘Horse­power will


Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Artist’s Vision - By Suz Elvey

As Ash­ford is “swamped by new de­vel­op­ments” one artist is hop­ing to keep the town’s her­itage alive through a se­ries of colour­ful sculp­tures.

John Lester has grand plans for a white horse out­side the De­signer Out­let, war­planes in El­wick Road and a steam lo­co­mo­tive near the old Klondyke Rail­way Works site.

Mr Lester tried in 2010 to con­vince Ash­ford Coun­cil and Kent County Coun­cil to help him place a white horse sculp­ture in El­wick Square and Olympic im­agery on the bridge over Rom­ney Marsh Road but nei­ther idea came to fruition.

Now the for­mer head of art at King’s School in Can­ter­bury has started ap­proach­ing pri­vate com­pa­nies as well, in­clud­ing Out­let own­ers McArthurGlen, and hopes they can help make his de­signs a re­al­ity.

Mr Lester said: “With con­cerns that Ash­ford’s her­itage is be­ing swamped by new de­vel­op­ments and that, in my opin­ion, a num­ber of pieces of public art­work in Ash­ford ap­pear to have lit­tle rel­e­vance to the town it­self, I have been keen to make ef­forts to pro­duce my own public art­works to cel­e­brate Ash­ford.

“Also, as I have now lived in the town for sev­eral years, my af­fec­tion for the place has grown and I am keen to do my bit to make Ash­ford a bet­ter place.

“My sculp­tures have, I feel, a sense of move­ment and are up­lift­ing for the viewer.

“Most of the sculp­tures can be seen through, to give an im­pres­sion that they are emerg­ing from the past and colour adds an­other di­men­sion to some – they could also be lit up at night.

“I be­lieve the sculp­tures have a func­tion and com­bine tra­di­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion and con­tempo-

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