Art in the Festival Gardens
Springfields Festival Gardens showcases innovative designer, Stephen Newby’s spectacular collection of stainless steel sculptures throughout the landscaped grounds.
The ‘blown’ steel sculptures are largely based around a water theme, featuring a specially commissioned ‘Kaleidoscope Wheel’. Situated in the canal, the rotating 15’ waterwheel will be a visually stunning sculpture, reacting to changes in light and environmental colour through the gentle movement of water. Other pieces will include a ‘waterwall’ of floating pillows suspended from a background of reflective mirror polished steel and a beautiful cascading ‘water pyramid’ consisting of a stack of stainless steel ‘pillows’, providing an eye-catching addition to Springfields’ designer gardens.
Using a process similar to glassblowing, Stephen has been perfecting the art of blowing steel for nearly a decade. Whilst passionate about his work, he enjoys challenging and reinventing the forms that metal can take,
“My intention has been to take the cold, clinical and industrial connotations that stainless steel invokes and subvert these by transforming it into something soft, tactile and organic. Blown metal is actually a synthesis of the ‘organic’ and the ‘manufactured’.”
The fluid and organic appearance of Stephen’s blown steel sculptures are intended to bring further harmony to Springfield’s tranquil gardens; whilst reflective surfaces will continually react to changes in light, soft undulations blend effortlessly into already serene spaces. Having experienced great success in his career and by keeping his methods a secret, Stephen has baffled many experts hoping to emulate his now patented process of blowing steel. His work covers many areas from complete interior schemes to architectural, public art and exterior projects and has been exhibited throughout Europe and the US. Smaller examples of his work are on sale in the prestigious Harrods, London.
The Kaleidoscope Wheel (2005) The Kaleidoscope Wheel comprises twelve main pillows that function as blades to turn it in perpetual motion, whilst a constellation of smaller pillows further symmetrize the wheel. Each pillow will react to changes in light, environmental colour and the movement of water, creating shifting symmetrical patterns and kaleidoscopic permutations as it rotates.
Shoal Sculpture (2005) The hanging shoal sculpture is designed to be suspended as a series of vertical hanging rods supporting a group of blown stainless steel pillows that are arranged in a shoal formation. The highly reflective pillows will appear to shimmer with the gentle movement of airflow, further enhanced by their contingency with available natural light.
‘S’ Form water feature (2000) The organic sculpture is formed into three dimensions using high-pressure water. This forming process stretches the steel to its absolute limits. Each object reacts differently to inflation, producing unexpected curves. The fluidity of these curves transforms the otherwise harsh edge of stainless steel, giving it a softer and more organic appearance.
Cascading Water Pyramid (2005) Poised majestically near the wetlands area, the Water Pyramid was originally part of a series and launched for exhibition at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2001. Blown stainless steel pillows are stacked in the form of a pyramid, while creases that are formed from the blowing process allow water to cascade via a multiplicity of routes.
Bowes Museum ‘Sea-Form’ Bench (1999) Commissioned for the Bowes Museum in County Durham, the ‘Sea-Form’ Bench is a sculpture inspired by aquatic forms. In order to evoke the skin texture of an aquatic organism, the bench has been produced in gold textured stainless steel. The sculpture comprises three organic blown forms arranged as a seat.