Our conversations so far with the Confluence partners, with stakeholder groups and with the people we have met in Haverfordwest, about the nature of a new public artwork have been much broader and far- reaching than we could have expected at the outset.
During our visits to Haverfordwest– and thanks to the extensive range of thinking already conducted by earlier Confluence commissions , we have developed a strong sense that ours is about more than its own physicality. At one level, we have been commissioned to design and install a new public artwork that it is hoped will contribute to a sense of place, bringing something new that is ‘regenerative’, and raises interest in, and the profile of Haverfordwest.
At another level we recognise a deeper and catalytic role the work could play in signifying a much larger on-going project that could be key to developing the ‘bigger picture’. In this instance, the relationship of the town with its river in the future. So, what type of artwork should it be? Where and how should it be placed in or on the river? What will it signify and mean to the townspeople, and to visitors who happen upon it?
The recurring themes that have begun to manifest in our emerging concept are:
- Sowing seeds for the future
- Changing perceptions of the town
- Marking the local character assets’
- Connecting the natural reaches’
The concept proposes a “habitable” river infrastructure; encouraging wildlife; the residents of the upper meadows and lower tidal reaches back into the town, and the townspeople- the urban residents to go out into the natural reaches.” As well as this, the narrative alongside this concept imagines a mythical Custodian residing in each of the series of sculptural installations along the length of the River Cleddau.
From Bridge Meadow in the north, through the ‘Village Green’ in the centre, to the Quays and skate park at ‘Priory Pass’, to Fortunes Frolic in the south, the installations rise up like trees; seemingly from the river itself, mysterious, enticingly inviting the viewer to venture forth along the river.