Sculptor bowled over by public art for Grosvenor & Hilbert’s boulders

Gary Jefferies

FAMILIES turned creative for Art in the Park last month, giving a professional artist ideas for new rock sculptures depicting Grosvenor & Hilbert Park and its surrounding areas.

The ‘pattern-drawing workshop’ was run by sculptor Richard Perry, who has been commissioned by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Richard’s previous creations include the five-metre marble StarStone in Armagh and a six-metre Freedom Tree in St Helier.

He provided photos of his work along with pictures of the park’s trees, wetlands and red iron spring water and the old High Brooms gas cylinders to inspire those who came to the workshop.

He was originally going to sculpt boulders for Jackwood Way based on the diagonal Tunbridge Ware designs that area was famed for, but it was not possible to site the rocks there in the end.

So the project moved the adjacent Grosvenor & Hilbert Park, with a different theme – though still inspired by some Tunbridge Ware with flowing, water-style designs found on a tea caddy.

Having studied the art produced by the community, Richard has submitted a proposal for three Gneiss boulder sculptures to be grouped together in the park. He hopes they will be installed in September.

“I would like them to say something of the flow of the land and the flow of the water which form strong characteristics of the park,” he said.

Camden Road’s Mia Harrop, aged eight, produced a blue and yellow rock pattern that was much admired by Richard and Community Engagement Officer Steff D’Agorne.

“I’m delighted with the way the day has gone,” said Richard. “The people who have come have done what I would do and responded to the really beautiful park, and they picked up on all the sorts of things I like too, like the flowing lines and the moving water.

“We wanted to find a way of making something that is special to the park, that has a sense of place, and I think we have got that today. I’ve seen lots of designs that have inspired me.”

Ms D’Agorne said: “It’s been nice to get all sorts of people from different backgrounds coming along and inspiring the artwork that Richard will be creating.

“I feel that it’s going to make a huge impact on how well the art will eventually fit in with the park.”

To see more of Richard’s work, visit

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