Hand / Earth / Gesture / Return - Pangaea Sculptors' Centre

By lucy, October 3, 2021

GW proposed image

GW proposed imageArtists’ collages visualising elements of Chapter 7: The Installation

Hand / Earth / Gesture / Return

Public Art working with the Community, Coventry 2021-22


Hand /  Earth / Gesture / Return is an experimental, collaborative work of art that publicly manifests as chapters across different media (film, photography, sculpture, performance, installation, events) over the course of a year. Through this approach we share the development and evolution, across time and space, of an ambitious, world-class public art project; from an idea forming through local, national and international collaboration and responding to stimuli; of materials locally sown, grown, harvested, sourced and processed.

Lead by visual artists Rachael Champion, Dolon Kundu, Amy & Oliver Thomas-Irvine and Jim Woodall, this project utilises the essential materials of clay/earth, straw and water, each at once both universally understood and hyper-local.

A major aim of the project is to foreground collaborative, socially engaged, environmentally conscious and sustainable practice in the creation of a work of art.

In this spirit, the artwork is the process – an evolving collaboration between nature, individuals, cities and cultures. The exact results are as yet unknown and will be defined by the artists, the community and the materials that produce it. The cob-like sculptures that make up the final installation will be made from locally sourced clay/earth and straw that has been specifically sown and harvested. In the closing chapter the installation will be given up to the process of water erosion and returned to the elements making visible an entire life cycle.

The final sculptural form of the project is both currently defined and as yet unknown, hinging as it does on a self and context-reflexivity that cannot, and does not want to be, totally pre-determined. The current design proposal which reflects the rich diversity of religious, cultural and ethnic communities and influences to be found in the Foleshill, Holbrook and Radford areas of Coventry, UK. The entire project is a product of this diversity. And it is because of the breadth and richness of migration to the UK and the cultural influences that enmesh in communities, that the public artwork has global connectivity.

Part of the God’s Workshop: Of Clay and Straw public art R&D programme, curated by Nandita Palchoudhuri and Lucy Tomlins.


An artwork experienced in chapters:


Exposition / Prologue




R&D, community consultation, design proposal, planting.


Chapter 1




The Seed

A short film documenting an improvised collaborative drumming journey that took place before the July wheat harvest in Hatton, Warwickshire.

More >


Chapter 2



The Rick

A temporary thatched rick of straw in our Hatton wheat field, marking the end of the summer’s harvest.

More >


Chapter 3



The Hairy Barge

Processing the materials to the communities that will use them.
Coming next…


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