Six thousand people visited Hastings beach last weekend (July 8-10) to watch blacksmiths from all over the country hot-forging pieces of a new sculpture.
Ten mobile forges were set up on the Stade Open Space, where people could see the blacksmiths at work with their hammers and anvils. The fully safe children’s forge also proved very popular.
The free three-day event was part of the ROOT1066 Festival of Contemporary Arts, inspired by the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, and was organised by local sculptor Leigh Dyer, in collaboration with the British Artist Blacksmiths Association.
“This was a wonderful combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern art, people were enthralled by the blacksmiths at work,” said Cllr Peter Chowney, the leader of Hastings Borough Council.
“The heat, smell and sound were intense, and the skills on show were truly impressive. The sculpture will be a beautiful addition to our seafront when it’s finished.”
The sculpture – The Landing – will be assembled over the summer and unveiled on September 10, rising like the prow of a Norman longboat from the shingle on Hastings seafront, by Albert Place. It will incorporate a time capsule of letters from local people, to be opened in 2066 on the 1,000th anniversary.
For more information, visit the website at www.1066contemporary.com, follow @ROOT1066 on Twitter, or like facebook.com/ROOT1066.
Photographs by Frank Cooper.
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