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Two Cones for Whittle Square

Date uploaded: September 23, 2013

An art installation entitled Two Cones for Whittle Square and sited in Brockworth, Gloucester, adds impact and a focal point for pedestrians in the square, whilst fitting in with both the area’s contemporary surroundings and unique history.

Artist Walter Jack was commissioned to create the pieces using funds from planning agreements between Tewkesbury Borough Council and developers Frontier, Tesco and Esporta.

The eight-foot high cones weigh 225 kilograms each and have been made using similar materials and techniques to that of Gloster Aircraft Factory, which was previously based on the site at Whittle Square.

Walter said: ‘It was a passion for craftsmanship that is the story of this place. Gloster Aircraft Company boasted processes as diverse as metal spinning and seamstress work, furniture-making and sculpting processes.

‘It was a passion and mastery that led, of course, to the first jet-powered aircraft taking to the air right here. I hope we’ve brought a little of that passion for craftsmanship to our work here.’

The cones funnel the view, the wind, the sound - and you - if you care to slide through! They are a conduit (and an amplifier) for memories and sounds telling the history of this place.

Inside the cones there are soundtracks playing out archive recordings, sound effects and stories from local residents. Press the button in either cone to hear the stories and to reveal the remarkable – and invisible – history of this place. The first British jet-powered aircraft, the E28/39, was designed, built and first flew from an airfield on this site on 8th April 1941.

Walter Jack designed the cones to be: 'deliberately ambiguous - evoking lilies and trumpets as much as aero-engines. They are hard metal fabrications, but soft forms. They are works of craft. Each one is made from 24 rollled and formed aluminium ‘leaves’, hand riveted together.'

This was a project initiated by Tewkesbury Borough Council, managed by Diana Hatton Associates and commissioned by Frontier Key. Sound by David Pickering Pick and Exmoor Technology.