Excitement builds as installation day for our iconic Figure of Industry sculpture arrives
The conditions couldn't have been better as we headed to Banbury to install our latest public art sculpture - The Figure of Industry.
This 9m tall figurative sculpture was transported to site from our workshop in Ulverston by our trusted hauliers Saunders and we enlisted the services of Berry Cranes to assist us with a contract lift.
The Figure of Industry commission was first awarded to CB Arts back in July 2018 after Chris beat off stiff competition to win the tender and contract with Cherwell District Council.
The concept for the piece was to create a memorable landmark sculpture. Chris's design draws on Banbury’s modern engineering industries but also its rich heritage of engineering and manufacturing. One key inspiration for the sculpture is Sir Bernhard Samuelson ‘The Iron Man of Banbury’ who put the town on a world level of engineering and production and who must be seen as a key founder and influence on Banbury’s rich heritage.
The piece depicts a figure, and while drawing the idea from Samuelson as the ‘Iron Man’ the figure is a symbol of the human side to the development of the town and his significant investment in the workers. This would also become representative of the current and future investment in the people of Banbury and the surrounding area.
The influence in how the figure is formed has come from the machining, turning and milling of metals in engineering. The cutting and pealing of surfaces which creates spirals and coiling strands of swarf.
Standing prominently within the industrial park the piece has a circular column to give height, towards the top strands and ribbons of steel pull from the surface spiralling and turning as they start forming the figure. This figure is stood with arms stretched in a welcoming and open manner as though gesturing in the direction of the town.
The piece stands at just over 9m in height.
Construction and Finish
The sculpture is formed in steel, the column as SHS and the ribbons of steel in solid forged and formed flat and square sections. All the steelwork is hot dip galvanized to give the piece a lifespan of between 57 to 85 years. To give the structure a natural steel look the sculpture is treated with a wax solution to darken the surface. You can see photos of the construction process here
Installation Day Photos by Nick Dimbleby