Fringe Box



Revisions to Bonfire Sculpture Ahead of Decision Day

Published on: 2 Apr, 2012
Updated on: 6 Apr, 2012

The revised bonfire sculpture design. It inspiration comes from the fact that the town successfully put down the 19th century Guildford Guy Riots.

The artist who has created the Guildford Guys bonfire sculpture has made some important tweaks to her design after taking on board comments about the work.

Award-winning artist Theresa Smith’s new improved design will be seen in model form when it is presented to Guildford Borough councillors this Thursday evening (April 5), for their decision to accept it or not.

The new version has several design refinements:

The diameter has been reduced to 4m – this will allow for more space around the sculpture at its proposed site on the Woodbridge Road / York Road roundabout and will also allow for easier relocation of the artwork should the roundabout be substituted for traffic lights in the future. The narrower footprint allows a more vertical structure with a more conical, classic bonfire shape.

The bars converge creating large openings – providing access for grounds maintenance thereby eliminating the need for doors or access tunnels.

The second rail is now 2m high – raising the bar from 1.5m to 2m gives greater access / head height below and effectively makes it much harder to climb the structure.

The scale of the chair has been increased – a larger chair emphasizes the triumph of law and order at the end of the Guildford Guys’ era, making way for a new, modern and forward-thinking town. Overall, there is greater clarity to the new design.

BR Road Safety Solutions was commissioned to undertake a road safety audit for Surrey Highways. A spokesman said that due to the clearer overall design it was “even less of a visual distraction as it is less difficult to understand”.

Theresa Smith says that BR Road Safety Solutions has given the sculpture a big thumbs up and says it is unlikely to offer any more of a distraction than the existing direction signs on the approaches to the junction.

Theresa adds: ” This new version of the bonfire is dynamic and really very striking. It has been an organic design process that has involved many people including highways and urban design officers. The result is a robust, powerful sculpture to be sited in the heart of Guildford”

The news of the proposed sculpture, gifted to Guildford by local firm EA Games, has created a buzz over the past few weeks with a split between those in favour of the design, meaning, vision and siting, and those against.

Theresa and her supporters hope the artwork will be an added attraction for the town and provide educational possibilities that will inspire a sense of social responsibility and civic engagement. They also hope that it will also give the town a monument to the spirit of the people of Guildford and provide a focal point for new cultural events.

The full council’s decision on whether the sculpture can go ahead will be reported here after Thursday night’s meeting.

Watch the movie clip on this website featuring Theresa Smith talking about her revised design. Navigate over to the right of the Home page.

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