Hereford Sculpture Trail

Eight new contemporary artworks for Hereford City Centre have been jointly commissioned by Hereford College of Arts and Meadow Arts to celebrate 170 years of creative education in the city.

The new sculpture trail in Hereford City Centre draws inspiration from past English laws of the 17th and 18th centuries that required shops to display visual trade representations crafted by local artisans. The project reimagines this tradition for the 21st century, reusing disused signage brackets across Hereford City Centre.

Hereford is now home to hundreds of students studying specialist degree and college-level courses in art, design, media and performance at Hereford College of Arts. The commission provides the opportunity for emerging artists from the college to publicly show their work alongside new works from established artists working nationally and internationally.

Residents and visitors will be able to discover these new works across the city centre from spring 2024.

Golden kettle hanging from a wall bracket

The copper kettle has been a feature in Hereford City Centre for over 100 years, originally hung above Goldings Stores. It now hangs above a bookshop on Commercial Street in the heart of Hereford.

About the works

Matthew Cornford

Matthew Cornford's work is inspired by his exploration of the Hereford College of Arts archive and historic promotional materials. During his research, he discovered an artist's paint palette which he has used in this work as a symbol of creativity. The addition of a picture of a blue sky over Hereford will act as a "trompe l'oeil", an illusion that symbolises positivity and the transformative power of art to encourage "blue sky thinking".

Artist's impression of Matthew Cornford's blue sky artist's palette hanging sign

Artist’s impression of Matthew Cornford's design

Lothar Götz

Renowned for his large-scale, site-specific creations, Lothar Götz often responds to existing structures. For Broad Street, he will reimagine a simple shop sign that responds to others on the street but advertises only itself. Broad Street has a rich history as the site of local festivities and significant events. The lozenges pattern that Götz proposes harks back to a folk art tradition of costumes and flags, celebrations and parades, in a bold and contemporary way.

Celia Johnson co-produced with Wigmore High School

Working in collaboration with the pupils of Wigmore High School, artist Celia Johnson has teased out a narrative from the phrase "wonders will never cease" attributed to David Garrick. Born in Hereford in 1717, Garrick, an influential English actor and playwright, is commemorated with a blue plaque on Maylord Street. Referencing the word 'wonders' the text-based sign will embody ideas of creativity, art, and education.

Laura White

Through her sculptures, artist Laura White constantly investigates the world of materials, pushing, observing, responding and playing with whatever material medium she encounters or chooses. For her sign on Widemarsh Street, White will explore what wrought iron may do if it were free to go its own way. Flowing out from the hanging structure and fixings, this results in an extravagant entanglement, a baroque twirl of dancing iron.

Nicholas Stevenson

Nicholas Stevenson's artwork will feature a giant sturgeon and a figure reaching for it, symbolising the unpredictable nature of the creative process. Inspired by Hereford's historical giant sturgeon, caught in 1846, the sculpture will evoke the mysteries of the natural world and reflect on human interference. The ambiguous figure pays tribute to those who have navigated artistic endeavours in Hereford, capturing the elusive essence of creativity. The design seeks to rekindle a positive link between Hereford's natural history and creative education.

Sturgeon sculpture design

Artist's impression of Nicholas Stevenson's design

Mark Houghton

Mark Houghton's vibrant addition to the sculpture trail is inspired by The Pretenders' drummer Martin Chambers. The steel sculpture, resembling Chambers' iconic drum kit, will honour the band's Hereford roots and aims to inspire local musicians. The piece is intended to boost Hereford's music scene and promote education in the arts. Crafted by Andy Langley of Artfabs and coated by C M Coatings, the visually striking sculpture will enhance the city's public realm, commemorating its artistic history and talent.

Rich Makin

Rich Makin's work intertwines Hereford's creative education, wartime manufacturing, and contemporary engineering. It reflects 170 years of creative education in supporting and fostering innovation in traditional and digital realms. The legacy of manufacturing, notably the Wiggin factory and Royal Ordnance Factory, influences the artist's practice, celebrating resilience and adaptability. Drawing inspiration from the Skylon, fabricated in Hereford by Painter Brothers for the Festival of Britain in 1951, the artwork will pay homage to Hereford's rich industrial heritage - a testament to learning, legacy, and the vibrant creativity that shapes the city.

Rich Makin, design for hanging symbol

Artist's impression of Rich Makin's design

Daniel Moss

This sculpture celebrates Herefordshire's agricultural legacy, resembling a contemporary plough suspended from a wooden yoke. The design will pay homage to ancestral ploughs, with resemblance to the spine, ribs, scapular and clavicle of the trunk or core of a living thing or a metaphorical body of a community. The plough is the backbone of Herefordshire - a testament to its hardworking communities and agricultural heritage.

Hereford College of Arts logo

Hereford College of Arts is the home of arts education in Herefordshire, providing a platform for the next generation of creatives to launch their own exciting careers in the creative industries.

Meadow Arts logo

Meadow Arts is an inspirational contemporary visual arts charity delivering ambitious and accessible projects in unexpected, often rural places.