Forest Arts in New Milton was asked to commission specialist local and community artist Trudi Lloyd Williams to design and create a stunning piece of artwork to develop an open space outside Hanger Farm Arts Centre. The work was funded through the New Forest Community Safety Partnership with Totton Art Society, Totton College, Totton & Eling Town Council, Western Design architects, Forest Arts and New Forest District Council (NFDC) working together to steer the project.
Trudi ran a series of workshops in collaboration with Forest Arts, for local people, of all ages, to contribute to the design of the sculpture. The sculpture, entitled Seed Pod, was installed in late 2004 and officially opened to the public as part of the official Hanger Farm park opening, on 11 June 2005.
Trudi found her inspiration from the history of the site. Hanger Farm can be seen on maps dating back to the 1600s. From an aerial viewpoint it soon became apparent that Totton and Eling were in the centre of a hub, an axis for radiating routes to Christchurch, Winchester, Salisbury and Southampton. This idea formed a basis for Trudi’s design concept.
The farmhouse in particular shows how the building has been upgraded externally, while underneath is a carefully preserved image of the past. This layering and forming of a skin appealed to Trudi, particularly with her expertise in mosaic. The hub idea translated into a seed pod shaped design. The construction of the sculpture echoes the hub idea with an enveloping skin of pressed tiles. These tiles were set in varying directions to create rich texture and light.
The sculpture is installed on a grassy mound situated at the axis of two footpaths against the wall of the barn.